More than 6,200 comments had been received as of July 6 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed renewable fuels volume requirements. The deadline to comment is July 11.
On May 18, the EPA proposed volume requirements that are lower than statutory targets for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel, however they are increases from 2016 requirements. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set renewable fuel percentage standards each year.
-Cellulosic biofuel renewable fuel volume increases from 230 million gallons in 2016 to a proposed 312 million gallons in 2017. In statue, it’s set at 5.5
-Advanced biofuel increases from 3.61 billion gallons to a proposed 4 billion gallons.
-Total renewable fuel increases from 18.11 billion gallons to a proposed 18.8 billion gallons.
-Biomass-based biodiesel was set at 1.9 billion gallons in 2016 and 2 billion gallons in 2017. It is proposed to increase to 2.1 billion gallons in 2018.
The National Corn Growers Association urges its members to comment to save the market equivalent of 425,000 acres of corn.
The 2017 renewable volume obligation standard proposed by EPA - 14.8 billion gallons instead of 15 billion gallons - effectively cuts corn usage by 71.4 million bushels, according to the National Corn Growers Association.
NCGA says the cut in volumes will have a devastating effect on farmers and rural communities across the country at a time when corn is in abundant supply and corn prices are hovering near the cost of production.
“This loss is equivalent to suspending all of our corn exports to Taiwan, one of our largest customers,” NCGA says in a media statement that asks members to contact the EPA.
“We’re growing more than enough corn to meet all needs,” NCGA says. “There’s no need to change something that works. The RFS has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased our reliance on foreign oil, lowered gasoline prices for consumers, increased economic stability in rural America and spurred innovation in advanced and cellulosic biofuels.”
However, the National Chicken Council has a different view.
“In creating an artificial demand for corn based ethanol beyond what the fuel market can bear, the EPA’s proposal will certainly have unintended consequences for other corn users who are not guaranteed market growth for their products,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. He said the proposed volume is equal to nearly 10% of projected total fuel use in 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“If the EPA proposal stays put, consumers will see higher prices at the pump and on the plate,” Brown said in a media statement.
The National Biodiesel Board also asks biofuel supporters to submit comments that specify how biofuels impact a person’s business or livelihood.
“While the proposal includes limited growth for biodiesel and the potential for additional biodiesel growth under the overall advanced biofuel category, it clearly does not fully capitalize on our industry’s potential for growth,” the board writes on its RFS Action Page. “With significant underutilized production capacity and feedstock supplies, we are pushing for a standard of at least 2.5 billion gallons in the final rule slated to be completed in November.”