EPA Schedules Hearing on Proposed RFS Rule for July 18 COMMENT DEADLINE August 17, 2018
by Erin Voegele (Ethanol Producer Magazine) The U.S. EPA has announced it will hold a public hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan, July 18 to gather public input on its proposed rule to set 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard, along with the 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel.
The EPA released the proposed rule on June 26. It aims to require 19.88 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply in 2019, up from 19.29 billion gallons in 2018. The proposed 19.88 billion gallon RVO for 2019 includes 381 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 4.88 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel. The 2019 RVO for biomass-based diesel was set last year. The proposed 2019 RVOs would allow for up to 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel to meet the annual blending requirement, most of which is corn ethanol. The rulemaking also proposes to set the 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 2.43 billion gallons, up 330 million gallons when compared to the 2019 and 2018 RVOs of 2.1 billion gallons.
Parties wishing to testify at the hearing are asked to contact the EPA by July 13. Contact information is available in the hearing notification posted to the agency’s website. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing. The comment period is set to close Aug. 17. The EPA said it will post more information on the hearing to its website at a later date, including a list of speakers and a “listen only” call-in number. READ MORE
EPA released proposed biofuels volumes in RFS with mixed industry reaction (AgWeek; includes VIDEO)
RFS, THE NEXT CHAPTER: (Politico’s Morning Energy)
Public Hearing for Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020 Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program–A Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 07/03/2018 (Federal Register; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0167)
NBB, Biodiesel Producers Ask EPA to Raise RFS Volumes and Ensure They Are Met (National Biodiesel Board)
EPA’s 2019 RFS Proposal Missing an Opportunity to Set Things Right with America’s Farmers, Ethanol Producers (Renewable Fuels Association)
Biodiesel Producers Ask EPA to Raise RFS Volumes (Energy.AgWired.com)
Biofuels and oil industry go head-to-head at EPA’s RFS hearing (Biofuels Digest)
RFA Asks EPA to Fix Pruitt Damage to RFS (Energy.AgWired.com)
RFS Testifiers Hammer on Waivers– Farmers, Ethanol Interests Plead With EPA to Reallocate Lost Biofuel Gallons (DTN The Progressive Farmer)
Reynolds To EPA: ‘Rural America Is Hurting’ (Iowa Public Radio)
Representatives of the biofuel industry testify at RFS hearing (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
ETHANOL ADVOCATES ASK FOR FIX TO RFS DAMAGE (Brownfield Ag News)
Oil industry, ethanol witnesses cite different grievances with RFS (Oil & Gas Journal)
Biofuel supporters call for EPA course correction (FeedStuffs)
Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy:EPA officials will be in Michigan this morning to hear ethanol and oil supporters duke it out over its proposed biofuel volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The agency made a modest increase to the requirements for advanced biofuels, but it backed down at the last minute on a provision that would have shifted the mandate from small refiners with economic hardship exemptions to large refiners. A public hearing on the RFS proposal kicks off at 9 a.m. in Ypsilanti, Mich., featuring voices from both sides of the RFS debate divided into 10 panels, according to a draft schedule shared with ME.
Patrick Kelly, senior fuels policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute — no fan of the biofuels program — will urge EPA not to exceed 9.7 percent ethanol in the gasoline pool for 2019. “The increases in gasoline demand projected at the inception of the RFS in 2007 did not materialize, nor did the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels,” he says in his prepared testimony, urging the use of EPA’s exemption authority. On the other side, Samantha Slater of the Renewable Fuels Association is slated to say EPA’s proposal “means nothing” until it reallocates lost gallons under its waivers. And National Wildlife Federation’s Marc Smith will call out “the negative impacts the production of these fuels has on water quality, land use, wildlife habitat, and air emissions” in his testimony. If you want to listen in to today’s hearing, EPA is providing a “listen only” teleconference line here. READ MORE
Excerpt from National Biodiesel Board: Kent Engelbrecht, Biodiesel Trade Manager at Archer Daniels Midland and NBB Board Chairman, stated, “There are many positive elements in this proposal for which we applaud EPA. But these are rendered meaningless unless EPA accounts for waived gallons to make sure the RVO’s are real numbers.” READ MORE
Excerpt from Renewable Fuels Association: In her testimony, (RFA Vice President of Government Affairs Samantha) Slater urged to EPA to:
• Adjust the 2019 RVO percentages to effectively reallocate projected small refiner exemptions;
• Address the court-ordered remand and include a plan for restoring the 500 million gallons missing from the 2016 RVO;
• Establish RVP parity for E15 and higher blends immediately; and,
• Lay out a plan for reallocating the renewable fuel blending volumes lost to small refiner exemptions in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 compliance years.