EPA, USDA Agree on RFS “Fix”

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Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, agreed on a plan to boost renewable fuel production and improve the Renewable Fuels Standard. Perdue says this agreement builds on the success of the year-round E15 rule. “This forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant,” Perdue says.

Both agencies will take a series of steps to help boost biofuels. The EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on its actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol will be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning next year. They also will ensure that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel will be met.

The EPA will also include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries through RFS waivers. Building on year-round E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15. EPA will also evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform.

The USDA says they will look for opportunities for infrastructure projects to help facilitate higher biofuel blends. The administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.