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Friday, May 20, 2016

EPA's Proposed 2017 Renewable Volume Obligation: Time to Stand Up

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard 2017 RVOs Wednesday and has increased RFS volumes across the board. However, the proposed rule is still not at statutory levels and continues to cite waivers they don't have the authority to use.

The non-advanced or "conventional" fuels portion of total renewable fuels would increase by 300 million gallons between 2016 and 2017. The RVO for conventional/corn ethanol is 14.8 billion gallons, an increase from 14.5 billion gallons.

Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, responded to Wednesday's announcement by EPA.

"EPA has moved in a better direction, but we are disappointed that they set the ethanol number below statute. The Renewable Fuel Standard is working for America. It has made our air cleaner. It has spurred investment in rural communities and created high-tech jobs. It has given drivers more choices at the gas pump. And it has reduced our dependency on foreign oil. Any reduction in the statutory amount takes America backward - destabilizing our environment, our economy, and our energy security.

"In the past, the EPA has cited a lack of fuel infrastructure as one reason for failing to follow statute. Our corn farmers and the ethanol industry have responded. Over the past year, we've invested millions of dollars along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to accelerate public and private investment in new ethanol pumps and fuel infrastructure. The fact is, today's driver has more access than ever to renewable fuel choices.

In the coming weeks, take time to contact EPA. They need to hear from everyone: farmers, neighbors, community leaders and anyone who cares about stability for our rural economy.  Ask the EPA to raise the RVO to statute.

EPA will hold a public hearing on this proposal on June 9, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. The period for public input and comment will be open until July 11. The rule is expected to be finalized by November 30.

For more information on Wednesday's announcement, here

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