Ag, Biofuels expresses hope Biden administration will turn around RFS ship

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“This is not the way to quickly drive low-carbon transportation fuel alternatives. The RFS is an exceptionally well-written law with written provisions to deal with even the devastating volume loss experienced in 2020 and 2021 . The EPA is missing the target on using the RFS to the max. “

Senator Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, said the EPA’s proposal gave the oil industry a “huge break” at “the expense” of farmers.

“It doesn’t add up,” she said in a statement.

“To retroactively lower the 2020 RVOs and set the 2021 RVOs low is a betrayal of the hard-working men and women in rural America. Congress passed and President Trump approved in 2020. The administration has withheld that aid for another three months and is now releasing it to distract Americans from its actions.

Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, criticized the Biden administration for pushing a program, calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions while reducing the mandate of ethanol.

“This administration has spent much of its first year bragging about its climate priorities while simultaneously begging OPEC to reduce soaring oil costs,” Grassley said in a statement.

“The biofuels produced in the country help solve both of these problems, but the Biden administration has chosen not to take yes for an answer. I don’t want to hear another word on President Biden’s so-called climate priorities until what he puts his money where his mouth is and provides cleaner, cheaper biofuels for Americans, just as he promised the Iowians during the election campaign. “

SUPPORT FOR MEASUREMENT

A number of agriculture and biofuels groups have expressed support for the proposal, as it would resolve a number of perceived issues with the RFS.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the proposal “will maintain the integrity” of the RFS.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation appreciates the administration’s recognition that renewable fuels produced by American farmers have an important role in America’s future,” Duvall said in a statement.

“Today’s EPA announcement maintains the integrity of the RFS by setting a positive target for 2022 renewable energy volume obligations of 20.77 billion gallons of mix and saying no to all the 65 pending exemptions for small refineries, which have undermined renewable fuel production in the past. We are also delighted that the USDA is finally allocating $ 700 million in pandemic assistance for losses related to biofuel production. “

The proposal is a net positive for advanced biofuels, including biomass-based diesel, which would drop from 2.43 billion gallons in 2020 and 2021 to 2.76 billion in 2022.

Iowa Soybean Association president Robb Ewoldt, a soybean grower from Davenport, said the proposal was essential for farmers.

“Iowa soybean growers welcome the EPA’s announcement to improve biofuel volumes in 2022 and expand biofuel infrastructure,” he said in a statement.

“These decisions not only send a clear message to producers, but also demonstrate the important role that local energy plays in expanding rural vitality and meeting the carbon emission targets set by the Biden administration. As farmers remain optimistic in light of these investments in biofuels, the agency should not ignore reservations expressed by producers due to volume delays in recent years. “

The EPA began to fall behind in implementing RFS volumes under the Trump administration. While Tuesday’s proposal was well received by many, the agency was expected to have finalized 2022 volumes by last week.

Kevin Scott, a South Dakota soybean grower and president of the American Soybean Association, said there was reason to be hopeful in the proposal.

“We appreciate that the EPA has made its decision on these numbers which are critical to the implementation of the renewable fuels standard,” he said in a statement, “but of course we would have liked to see higher retroactive figures for 2020 and 2021. However, we are encouraged by RVO 2022 and hope that 2023 remains on this upward trajectory. ”

Kurt Kovarik, vice chairman of the National Biodiesel Council for Federal Affairs, said his group believed the proposal would benefit the biodiesel industry.

“During the economic challenges of the past two years, our industry has worked hard to meet the growing demand in the United States for cleaner, better fuels,” he said in a statement.

“We are convinced that we can continue to grow and innovate to meet additional market needs. The EPA rule predicts some growth for advanced biofuels in 2022, and we hope to end the destruction of demand resulting from unwarranted exemptions for small refineries. “

Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, highlighted the proposal as a potential end to the EPA’s previous handling of small refinery exemptions.

“This proposal signals the possible end of the era of abuse of petroleum refinery waivers, adoption of new fuels and the growth of the biofuels market in 2022 – clear steps in the right direction,” he said. he said in a press release.

“But if we are to unleash the full potential of the RFS, the retroactive cuts must stop. It’s time to break away from the same old political games that we see every year of refiners betting against clean energy and focus on creating a new one. wave of clean energy jobs in the heart of America. ”

Learn more about DTN:

“EPA offers corn-ethanol cuts to RFS”, https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley

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