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EPA Sets Final Multi-Year RFS Volumes

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week announced the final renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The final RFS is more stringent than previously proposed levels in May, but falls short of the threshold set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The EPA earlier this year proposed requiring refiners to blend 16.3 billion gallons of ethanol into their fuel in 2015 and 17.4 billion gallons in 2016. Those figures, however, were increased to 16.93 billion gallons this year and 18.11 billion next year. Of the total 18.11 billion gallons, 14.5 billion will potentially come from corn ethanol, while the remaining 3.61 billion gallons will be derived from advanced biofuels. Meanwhile, the final 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel — the fuel with the lowest carbon emissions — is nearly 200 million gallons, or seven times more than the market produced in 2014.

NAMI was critical of the EPA decision saying, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of the final volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, is another clear sign that the RFS is broken beyond repair. The RFS ethanol mandates have been a significant contributor to higher meat and poultry prices for consumers as animal feed is diverted to ethanol use. Today’s EPA decision will only exacerbate this food versus fuel conflict, in which consumers ultimately lose.

These market impacts – combined with the fact that the EPA is only now finalizing both the 2014 and 2015 ethanol volume obligations – sends a clear message that the RFS is a flawed policy. For years, NAMI has called for a renewable fuels policy that doesn’t pit energy against food production, and EPA’s rule reaffirms that it’s time for Congress to reform the RFS.”

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