EPA announces final 2018 RVO numbers under RFS

The head of the leading US ethanol industry trade association applauded the EPA's decision to keep a 15-billion-gallon mandate for conventional biofuels.

"The biofuels industry will rise or fall together, and thus we are disappointed the final rule is not more aggressive with regard to other advanced biofuels such as biodiesel", the RFA chief said.

"We're disappointed today, as we had originally pushed for a level of 2.5 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel in 2019 and 4.75 billion gallons of total advanced biofuels for 2018, but we'll continue in our work to develop even greater capacity within our industry, and we urge EPA and the Administration to take another look at biodiesel and the value USA soybean farmers bring to the domestic energy discussion", Moore said.

American Soybean Association President Ron Moore said failing to increase the biodiesel RVO "continues to be a missed opportunity to capitalize on a valuable market for soybean oil", and that EPA should "take another look at biodiesel and the value US soybean farmers bring to the domestic energy discussion".

He says they'll weigh in with the EPA and Congress on the need to increase those levels for 2020.

"We applaud the administration for standing up against efforts to destabilize the Renewable Fuel Standard", said Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO.

However, the National Biodiesel Board noted that the EPA recommended only 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, a reduction and a flatline, respectively, from past year. "The EPA's on-time announcement upholds the statutory targets for conventional biofuels, which will provide much-needed certainty for hard-pressed rural communities". By not raising the RFS levels, the EPA is discouraging investment and discouraging growth. "That is disappointing", he said in a statement.

AgDay national reporter Betsy Jibben talks with Robert White, vice president of industry relations with for the Renewable Fuels Association, about the cellulosic number.

Similarly, Iowa's senior Republican Sen.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB), which has also pushed for higher RVOs under the RFS, called the EPA's announcement a "missed opportunity". As part of that the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2018 and 2019, including biodiesel, were also flat lined at 2.1 billion gallons, far below the industry request of 2.5 billion gallons.

Even as officials expressed disappointment with the new advanced biofuel levels Thursday, they still praised the administration for upholding ethanol amounts and backing off the potential structural changes.

While campaigning for president in 2016, Trump promised to support renewable fuels. She added she would continue to push for higher biodiesel and cellulosic amounts.

  • Joey Payne