WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Today, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) released the renewable volume obligation (RVO) targets for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement, underscoring that while the numbers are a positive step forward, the billions of lost gallons due to excessive small refinery exemptions need to be accounted for:

“We are pleased to see the 2019 RVO numbers released on time and that they hold strong promise, with a 15 billion gallon commitment to starch ethanol and 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels,” said Skor. “But the latest EPA rule is also a missed opportunity to correctly account for billions of gallons of ethanol lost to refinery exemptions. Until these are addressed properly, we’re still taking two steps back for every step forward.”

Skor continued, “The current Acting EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, has a valuable opportunity to chart a new course for biofuels and rural America. To reverse the damage done by his predecessor, the EPA must follow the law and reallocate lost gallons, ensuring the ethanol targets set by Congress are actually met. This would plug the leak in America’s biofuels targets and give farmers the boost they need to keep the rural economy moving.”

For an audio recording of Skor’s statement, please email Leigh Claffey.

Background:

In July, Growth Energy’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Blileytestified before EPA officials at a field hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the proposed RVO targets. Growth Energy then submitted formal comments to the EPA in August, which can be found in full here.

Additionally, in August, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) filed a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) have improperly denied agency records requested by Growth Energy, RFA, and others under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Both Growth Energy and RFA have submitted several records requests dating back to April 2018 seeking information related to exemptions from the RFS that EPA has granted to small refineries in complete secrecy. EPA and DOE have failed to act within the timeframes required by FOIA and have improperly withheld the requested documents. By filing this lawsuit in August, Growth Energy, RFA, and their allies in the renewable fuel industry aim to increase transparency and foster better oversight of EPA’s use of small refinery exemptions.

Earlier this year, Growth Energy, RFA, and allied organizations also filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and a related administrative petition with EPA on the misuse of small refiner exemptions.

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