EPA proposes 15 billion gallon renewable volume obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard | TheFencePost.com

EPA proposes 15 billion gallon renewable volume obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard

Colorado Corn

Farmers and biofuels enthusiasts applauded the Environmental Protection Agency's recent proposal, regarding its 2018 renewable volume obligations, or RVO, under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Once again, the EPA called for setting an RVO for conventional renewables — largely grain-based ethanol — at 15.0 billion gallons, which is in line with what the fuel standard statute called for about a decade ago.

Until last year, the EPA had set annual RVOs at levels that fell short of the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard statute's projections. National Corn Growers Association officials say they were "pleased to see EPA pick up where last year's (Renewable Fuel Standard) rulemaking left off," adding this "proposal is good for farmers … facing tough economic times" and "good for consumers who want affordable fuel choices that give us a cleaner environment."

"The (Renewable Fuel Standard) has been a resounding success: cleaner air, greater energy independence and stronger rural communities," said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock in a statement. "We call on the EPA to keep the (Renewable Fuel Standard) moving forward in line with the law and in a timely manner. Doing so will bring greater stability and certainty to the marketplace and spur increased investment in renewable fuels."

While the EPA maintained the implied statutory level for conventional ethanol, the agency lowered the total proposed RVO for 2018 by 40 million gallons compared with the final 2017 RVO set last year. After the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, the EPA will begin a 45-day public comment period. Public hearings on the proposed RVO have been scheduled for Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C.