Washington, DC — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its final targets for using renewable fuels in the next two years under what’s called the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The final numbers for biodiesel and ethanol are below the original numbers called for in the law. The ethanol numbers do not please Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw.
The E-P-A is calling for use of just more than 14 billion gallons of ethanol for 2015 and 14-point-five billion gallons for 2016. Shaw says the E-P-A used the mythical “blend wall” or maximum amount of ethanol that can be used in the place of gasoline to justify its lowering of the R-F-S levels.
Shaw says the ruling goes against everything that was intended in setting the levels for renewable fuels.
He expects everyone in the renewable fuels industry to read the final ruling and then to take action.
He says it’s unfortunate things have to move that way.
Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing three-point-nine billion gallons of ethanol annually. Iowa also has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The National Biodiesel Board, however applauded the ruling because it raised biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says, QUOTE “I am extremely disappointed that the EPA’s final decision failed to follow the renewable volume levels set by Congress,” said Branstad. “Unfortunately, today’s decision shows the lack of interest in providing consumers choice at the pump, creating jobs and increasing incomes in Rural America, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Senator Joni Ernst has said, QUOTE “The Obama Administration is once again using the EPA to impose their agenda on hardworking Iowans by instituting biofuel volume requirements that are lower than originally mandated and in direct contradiction of the law.”
Senator Chuck Grassley says, QUOTE “This rule is a slight improvement but it still sells biofuels short. The EPA just doesn’t appreciate that farmers and biofuels producers can generate enough renewable fuels to meet the goals set by Congress.”
Congressman Steve King says the industry has taken another hit. He says that the EPA is sending a message that it does not want the renewable fuels industry to expand.