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NFU urges EPA to issue RFS volume obligations that expand biofuel markets

For the past decade, the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been a boon to American-grown renewable energy development, thereby expanding markets for farmers, creating jobs in rural communities, shoring up energy independence, and cleaning up the environment.
"So when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues new renewable fuel volume obligations (RVO) this November, they must continue to build on the success of the RFS," said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), biofuels, higher blends of ethanol in gasoline, and advanced, biobased technologies are reaping tremendous benefits for the environment and providing much-needed economic stability to America’s farming and rural communities (photo courtesy NFU).

In public comments filed to the EPA today, Johnson urged the agency to issue RFS volume obligations that expand markets for higher blends of ethanol and advanced biofuels.

The RFS has provided tremendous benefits to American family farmers, rural residents, consumers and the environment for the past decade. If the EPA upholds Congress’ intent to institute a market-driving renewable energy policy, the RFS will continue to pave the way for America’s transition to a renewable energy future, said Johnson.

In his comments, Johnson called on the EPA to improve on their proposed volume obligations from July. While the proposal maintained conventional biofuel levels, it lowered requirements for advanced biofuels.

President Trump and his administration have assured family farmers and rural residents that this administration plans to support biofuels and uphold the intent of Congress as it relates to the RFS. While we appreciate that EPA’s proposal maintains the implied conventional biofuel RFS volume at 15 billion gallons, the agency continues to consider “constraints” on ethanol use, when it should continue to support ongoing efforts to increase use of higher ethanol blends in this country, noted Johnson.

Johnson pointed out that the EPA’s proposal significantly reduces the statutory volume for advanced biofuels and, thereby, the total renewable fuel volume.

As such, the overall proposal falls short of preserving the integrity of the RFS – which is to drive the biofuels market and grow the industry. As family farmers navigate a severely depressed farm economy, this is a time the administration should be raising expectations for a policy that drives many economies in rural America. We urge the administration to increase these proposed volumes and reject any calls to further reduce the required volumes, he concluded.

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