Reaction to EPA's Meager Increase for 2018 Biofuels

Dec 1, 2017  | 2 min  | Ep4315

The most recent battle over biofuel mandates came to an end this week. The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to a minimal increase of the Renewable Fuel Standard that will put 19.29 billion gallons of biofuels in U.S. gas tanks next year.

The figure is slightly higher than EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s July recommendation which had infuriated renewable energy lawmakers at the state and federal level. In response to Pruitt’s move, Iowa Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst – both Republicans - threatened delay in confirmation of EPA appointees. After the pair received assurances from the White House there would be no cuts to the RFS - Texas Senator Ted Cruz – also a Republican - countered with a hold on Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s appointment to USDA.

After this week’s announcement, pro-ethanol industry and trade groups ranged from calling the move a modest step in the right direction to disappointment where it came to biodiesel mandates. 

Biodiesel producers – corn-based ethanol makers among them - had a negative reaction to what some called a meager 33 million gallon increase in their renewable volume obligations for 2018. Many also expressed concern the basically flat volume increase might send the wrong signals and curtail industry expansion.

For Market to Market, I’m David Miller.



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