STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT MARK RECKER ON EPA’S PROPOSED 2019 RENEWABLE VOLUME OBLIGATIONS
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the 2019 conventional biofuels requirement at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and in doing so, failed to reallocate the gallons of ethanol exempted through the small refinery process. Considering the EPA’s decision, we will fight to protect the rights of Iowa’s farmers and consumers and hold the EPA accountable.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has handed out an unprecedented number of exemptions to small refineries across the country, effectively destroying more than 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol demand and slashing market access for America’s corn farmers. Farmers expect the EPA to uphold the RFS as President Trump and Administrator Pruitt promised to do. EPA’s actions have thoroughly undermined that commitment while providing little transparency regarding how they are administering the small refinery waiver program.
Iowa’s farmers deserve greater honesty and transparency from the EPA as their actions have created a back door that allows oil companies to sidestep their blending obligations costing farmers and ethanol $5.3 billion in lost markets.
This decision will deny consumers greater access to cleaner-burning, lower-cost fueling options at the pump, and will stifle progress made in increasing our nation’s energy security and improving air quality. While today’s announcement is just a proposal, throughout this comment period we will continue to work with farmers across the nation and our leaders in Congress to strengthen our commitment to renewable fuels and ensure we are not taking a step backward.
RVOs are set annually by EPA to dictate the amount of renewable fuel that is blended into the motor fuel supply. The RFS is a federal law that requires domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning fuels to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. It has been one of America’s most successful energy policies.
Under federal law, the EPA has until Nov. 30 to finalize the annual biofuel targets for the upcoming year. The RFS is the number one priority for ICGA as it builds demand for corn and corn-products. ICGA will be activating our members in the coming weeks to engage during the public comment period and make our voices heard to maintain a strong RFS. Farmers and everyone who supports farmers should take this opportunity to tell EPA that we want to count on the 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol to be blended into our fuel supply. By neglecting to reallocate the gallons, farmers are faced with demand destruction.
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