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Iowa Leaders Respond to EPA Renewable Volume Decision
Iowa Ag Connection - 12/03/2018

Iowa leaders on Friday responded to an announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding renewable volume obligations (RVOs). .The final RVO rule will increase the minimum advanced biofuel volume for 2019 to 4.92 billion ethanol equivalent gallons, up from 4.29 billion gallons for this year, and 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel in 2020, up from 2.1 billion gallons for 2019.

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. President and CEO Randy Howard said his company was very pleased to see growth for the Advanced Biofuel and Biomass-Based Diesel categories.

"It is clear that the industry can deliver higher volumes of cleaner burning fuels that consumers want to the market. We appreciate that Acting Administrator Wheeler has listened to our position and that this final RVO rule reflects that," he said. "We look forward to continuing to work with the President and his Administration to show how continued growth of renewable fuels benefits rural America, American agriculture and energy security, and the environment."

The final RVO rule will increase the minimum advanced biofuel volume for 2019 to 4.92 billion ethanol equivalent gallons, up from 4.29 billion gallons for this year, and 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel in 2020, up from 2.1 billion gallons for 2019.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement, "I would like to thank Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the Trump Administration for releasing the biofuels blending levels for 2019 and biodiesel for 2020 on time. I am thankful conventional biofuels levels were maintained and advanced biofuels levels will increase in the future. While the numbers do not accurately reflect all that the industry is capable of, I am grateful to see the advanced biofuels volumes increasing.

"I was, however, disappointed that the millions of gallons of demand lost due to the small refinery exemption waivers will not be reallocated. I urge Acting Administrator Wheeler to uphold the President's repeated commitment to the RFS and abandon the concerning practice of extending small refinery waivers. Further, I look forward to an expedited process to remove restrictions on the sale of E15 to expand opportunities for our homegrown fuels."

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said in a separate statement, "I appreciate the timely release by EPA of the final 2019 RFS numbers that maintain support for corn ethanol and grow the requirement for advanced biofuels. A strong RFS is critical for our renewable fuels industry to grow and it ensures customers have fuel choices at the pump.

"The failure to reallocate the gallons that were lost due to the wrongly granted small refinery waivers under the previous EPA Administrator is disappointing. The RFS has been significantly undermined by the indiscriminate granting of these waivers that have destroyed 2.25 billion gallons of ethanol demand over the past two years. The recent announcement by President Trump to lift restrictions on the sale of E15 year round was an important step to support the industry and has the potential to drive demand for an additional 2 billion bushels of corn nationwide. Reigning in these waivers is necessary to build on the positive momentum created by that announcement."

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