WASHINGTON, DC – Growth Energy, the nation’s largest ethanol association, today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold the president’s commitment to farmers and biofuel workers by fixing a flawed proposed supplemental rule on 2020 biofuel targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In formal comments to the agency, Growth Energy calls on regulators to fully account for biofuel demand lost to oil industry exemptions in the final biofuel targets for 2020.

“Unfortunately, the current proposal fails to provide the certainty and stability that America’s farmers and biofuel producers need to rebuild after years of demand destruction,” said Skor. “It offers a solution based on outdated and inaccurate estimates, potentially keeping billions of gallons of biofuels off the market. The president has committed to upholding the integrity of the RFS, and communities across the heartland are counting on EPA to keep that promise by accurately accounting for lost gallons.”

In its comments to EPA, Growth Energy calls on regulators to account for a rolling average of actual exempted volumes from the three most recently completed compliance years, and provides detailed instructions on how EPA should execute these directives:

  • EPA’s projections should rely on the agency’s actual history of adjudicating small refinery exemptions (SREs) applications to be more accurate over time.
  • EPA should use the most recent data available when setting volume requirements, which for 2020 would be data from 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • EPA should begin issuing partial SRE relief where appropriate—a practice that will better enable EPA to implement the SRE provision of the statute without undermining the RFS program’s overarching renewable energy mandate.
  • EPA should disclose additional data and analyses regarding SRE decisions to provide needed public insight into EPA’s decision-making process.

The EPA’s public comment period on the proposal ends on November 29.

Read Growth Energy’s full comments here.

Background:

On Oct. 4, President Trump, congressional biofuels champions, USDA Secretary Perdue, and EPA Administrator Wheeler agreed on a plan to address the economic crisis created by the abuse of SREs, which have destroyed demand for more than four billion gallons of biofuel.

Following that announcement, on October 15, EPA released a supplemental proposal that was a departure from President’s promise to ensure that farm families and biofuel producers have the certainty they need to rebuild after three years of demand destruction.

The supplemental proposal opened for public comment period on Oct. 28, and included a hearing in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Oct. 30. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor testified before EPA officials against the EPA supplemental proposal.

On Nov. 5, Growth Energy joined a united coalition of 60 farm and biofuel organizations across the country in writing the president, asking him to fix the flawed supplemental proposal.

Additionally, six U.S. senators recently sent a letter to President Trump expressing that the deal they reached on Oct. 4 was not upheld in the supplemental proposal put forth by EPA.

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There's no link between the Renewable Fuel Standard and increased land usage, and no link to increased risk to endangered species. What there is a link to is lower emissions — a reduction of 589 million metric tons over the first decade of implementation. https://t.co/FNo7vKolET

via @GrowthEnergy

Thank you to @SenAmyKlobuchar, @SenStabenow, @SenatorDurbin, @RonWyden, @SenDuckworth, @SenSherrodBrown, @SenatorBennet, @maziehirono, and @SenTinaSmith for supporting our industry, and for working to ensure that @EPA gets its biofuels fix right! klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.c…

via @GrowthEnergy

"In the absence of a causal link between the RFS and land use change―and in particular land conversion from grassland, wetland, or forest to corn and soy―there can be no causal link between the RFS and impacts to terrestrial species due to loss or degradation of habitat.”

via @GrowthEnergy

A claim is going around that the RFS puts endangered species at risk, and one of its fundamental flaws is it hinges on the false notion that we're using more cropland for food, livestock feed, and biofuels. As we've established, this just isn't true. growthenergy.org/2019/12/04/rep…

via @GrowthEnergy