Home Indiana Agriculture News EPA Announces Long-Awaited RVOs, Ethanol Groups Have Mixed Reviews

EPA Announces Long-Awaited RVOs, Ethanol Groups Have Mixed Reviews

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The Environmental Protection Agency announced a package of actions, including setting the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2022, 2021, and 2020. The agency also introduced regulator changes intended to enhance the program’s objectives.

For 2022, the EPA is proposing the highest total volumes in history. The proposed volume for 2022 is over 3.5 billion gallons higher than the volume of renewable fuel used in 2020. The proposed volume for advanced biofuels in 2022 is over one billion gallons greater than the volume used in 2020.

EPA is also proposing to deny dozens of petitions to exempt small refineries from the obligations under the RFS.

“Despite multiple challenging dynamics affecting the RFS program in recent years, EPA remains committed to the growth of biofuels in America to secure a clean zero-carbon energy future,” says EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall welcomed the announcement from the EPA, saying, “Today’s EPA announcement upholds the integrity of the RFS by setting a positive target for 2022 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) of 20.77 billion gallons of blending and saying no to all 65 pending small refinery exemptions, which have undermined renewable fuel production in the past. We’re also pleased USDA will finally be allocating $700 million in pandemic assistance for losses related to biofuel production.”

However, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the EPA proposal is a mixed bag for the bioefuels industry.

“EPA’s projection of strong biofuel blending requirements in 2022, commitment to halt illegal refinery exemptions, and long-awaited progress toward complying with a 2017 court order on lost gallons represent a welcome step forward. These forward-looking plans underscore the critical role biofuels play in mitigating climate change and lowering prices at the pump. However, we are extremely disappointed EPA has proposed rolling back requirements for 2020 and lowering volumes for 2021.

“Retroactive cuts to 2020 blending requirements impact the entire fuel supply chain, including the farmers, producers, blenders, retailers, and responsible refiners who based business decisions on final requirements in place for some time.”

POET Senior VP of Government Affairs and Communications Joshua Shields added, “EPA’s draft rule would reduce access to the single most affordable and abundant source of low-carbon liquid fuel on the planet right at the moment when consumers are facing high gas prices, and political leaders are grasping for climate solutions that are within reach. The Biden Administration should fulfill the President’s campaign promises to support the Renewable Fuel Standard, which will continue to affordably decarbonize the nation’s existing vehicle fleet, create clean energy jobs and support American farmers. We urge the EPA to consider the consequences of reducing biofuel volumes, reinstate robust blending targets and, as the President said, ‘Get the RFS back on track’ before the rule is finalized.”

Source: NAFB News Service