The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) remains one of America’s most successful clean energy policies. For over 15 years, the RFS has helped reduce carbon emissions, offer more affordable options at the pump, and deliver greater energy security. Today, 98 percent of gasoline in the U.S. contains about 10 percent ethanol.

At Growth Energy, we believe the RFS should be faithfully executed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Congress intended, and that EPA should not undermine the policy and increase consumer fuel costs, hurt our economy, and hinder progress toward our environmental goals.

The Latest: EPA’s Final Rule

Until recently, Congress provided the EPA with specific statutory targets for U.S. biofuel blending volumes. This year, however, EPA was required on its own to establish these Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) through the “Set” based on six factors that include costs, air quality, climate change, implementation of the program to date, energy security, infrastructure issues, commodity prices, water quality, and supply.

Despite no longer having specific statutory targets, EPA is still required to stay true to Congress’s overarching directive – to advance the growth of renewable fuels blending under the RFS to meet our nation’s climate and energy goals.

Ahead of the final rule, Growth Energy called on EPA to build on the 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels set for 2022 and set forward-looking requirements for advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

  • Returns ethanol blending to 15.0 billion gallons for 2023-2025, despite an earlier proposal to increase baseline conventional volumes at 15.25 billion gallons for 2024-2026.
  • Provides additional, yet modest, increases in Non-Cellulosic Advanced and Biomass-Based Diesel (BBD) for 2023-2025. No additional increases were provided for BBD in 2023.
  • Does not include small refinery exemptions (SREs). EPA continues to state that “at this time, we anticipate that no SREs will be granted for these future years, including the 2023-2025 compliance years.”

Fighting for a Strong RFS

Instead of limiting conventional biofuel blending obligations, EPA should have expanded opportunities and increased these volumes year over year, as originally proposed in the draft Set Ruel .We should be expanding market opportunities for higher blends like E15, not leaving carbon reductions on the table.

The president has pledged to support biofuels and acknowledged that “you simply can’t get to net-zero by 2050 without biofuels.” Growth Energy is laser focused on fulfilling Congress’s overarching directive to steadily expand the role biofuels play in mitigating climate change and lowering prices at the pump. American is the world’s largest producer of biofuels, and we should be making use of our full capacity in the push for greater energy security and a healthy climate.

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