Court Ruling On RFS RVOs A Win For Biofuels Industry

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 2, 2017

The court's opinion, written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, stated that "whether consumers have an adequate supply of renewable fuel to fill their cars is not relevant to whether refiners, blenders and importers have an adequate supply of renewable fuel to meet the statutory volume requirements".

The new EPA targets call for the statutorily required 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels, including corn-derived ethanol, but propose to cut volumes for "advanced biofuels", such as cellulosic ethanol and biomass-based diesel.

The EPA is accepting comments on the 2018 and 2019 minimums for ethanol and biodiesel.

Ricketts, chairman of the Governors' Biofuel Coalition, testified in Washington along with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Reynolds noted that President Donald Trump has been "extremely supportive". The hearing occurring days after a federal court determined EPA's methodology used to determine past levels is flawed.

More than 43,000 of the roughly 340,000 supported by the renewable fuels industry are in Iowa, generating $2.3 billion of income for Iowans.

In Nebraska alone, the ethanol industry provides over $5 billion of investment to the economy and Ricketts said the state stands ready to increase its biofuel output.

The court's ruling has created substantial uncertainty regarding the potential consequences for markets affected by the decision. "I trust that the president's commitment will be reflected in the final rule that the EPA puts forward". But the proposed advanced biofuel volumes fell short of the goal by perpetuating the status quo rather than spurring sustainable alternatives to petroleum.

EPA had reduced the 2016 RVOs from congressionally-mandated numbers after arguing that there was an "inadequate domestic supply" of certain biofuels.

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