2017-09-13 / News

Farm Bureau to EPA: Up Advanced Biofuels requirement

BY AFBF Farm News Media

WASHINGTON D.C. —EPA’s 2018 proposal fails to send the signal to the industry that greater infrastructure investment is needed and meaningful marketplace changes need to occur,” Moore said.

While the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to keep the 2018 conventional biofuels level at 15 billion gallons, as called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard, is good news, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is warning that EPA’s plan to reduce additional levels of required “advanced biofuels” in the nation’s fuel supply will undermine goals to create a more robust renewable fuels industry and greater energy independence.

“Renewable fuels have been a tremendous success story for the country and for the rural economy,” said Dale Moore, AFBF executive director of public policy. “The Renewable Fuel Standard has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and provided good-paying jobs in rural America.”

The prospects of EPA dialing back the advanced biofuels requirement couldn’t come at a worse time for the current farm economy, according to Michigan Farm Bureau Field Crops and Advisory Specialist, Kate Thiel, citing depressed crop prices below cost of production for major commodities - most notably corn and soybeans.

“The reasonable additional biofuel requirements being asked for here would help tremendously in stimulating crop prices as well as provide an economic boost throughout rural Michigan,” Thiel said. “EPA’s intention to reduce the 2018 requirements for advanced renewable fuel to 4.24 billion gallons, down from 4.28 billion gallons this year, not only dampens the prospects for reduced emissions and increased energy security, but also inhibits investment in cleaner, domestic fuels and the infrastructure needed to accommodate higher biofuel blends—all of which are goals of the RFS.”

According to AFBF’s Moore, EPA’s proposal includes an overall 2018 biofuel mandate of 19.24 billion gallons, with 15 billion gallons of that in conventional biofuels, or ethanol, and 4.24 billion gallons in advanced biofuels.

“The RFS was designed to give American consumers more choices at the pump and lower gas prices, and to utilize biofuel as more than just a gasoline additive with octane-boosting value. But EPA’s 2018 proposal fails to send the signal to the industry that greater infrastructure investment is needed and meaningful marketplace changes need to occur,” Moore said.

Farm Bureau is urging EPA to set the advanced biofuel requirements for 2018 at 5.25 billion gallons and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2019 at 2.75 billion gallons. EPA intends to finalize the rule by Nov. 30.

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