Renewable fuels, farm groups criticize EPA proposals


by Donnelle Eller

Renewable fuels and farm groups criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules setting how much ethanol and biodiesel should be blended into the nation's fuel supply.

The agency released the Renewable Fuel Standard proposals for 2014, 2015 and 2016 on Friday.

“While at face value, the numbers might appear to be an improvement over the proposal released back in 2013, this new rule still doesn't meet the requirements Congress set in statute. It also continues to use a flawed methodology which is almost more damaging” than the proposed numbers themselves, said Jerry Mohr, a farmer from Eldridge and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

EPA proposes requiring 15.93 billion gallons of total renewable fuel in 2014, 16.3 billion gallons in 2015, and 17.4 billion gallons in 2016.

The agency said the 2016 proposal is nearly 9 percent more — or 1.5 billion gallons — than actual 2014 volumes.

But the proposal for the total renewable fuel requirement falls short of levels Congress mandated: 20.5 billion gallons in 2015 and 22.25 billion gallons in 2016.

“Today's proposals are better than EPA's initial proposed rule for 2014, but they still need significant improvement. We have sincere concerns that these proposed numbers are not moving forward to the degree that Congress had intended for the RFS,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, an ethanol industry advocacy group.

In its rule-making notice, EPA said targets for 2014, 2015 and 2016 were not achievable due to “constraints in the fuel market.”

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Source:  The Des Moines Register

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