Representatives of the biofuel industry testify at RFS hearing

By Erin Voegele, Biomass Magazine.

Several members of the biofuels industry testified at the July 18 hearing held by the U.S. EPA regarding its proposed rule to set 2019 blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Many expressed hope that the EPA’s new leadership will hold up the Trump administration’s commitment to the RFS and discussed the need to correct impacts caused by the misuse of small refiner hardship waivers.

The hearing, held in Ypsilanti, Michigan, focused on the EPA’s proposed rule to set 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS, along with the 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The agency released the proposed rule on June 26. It aims to require 19.88 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply in 2019, up from 19.29 billion gallons in 2018. The proposed 19.88 billion gallon RVO for 2019 includes 381 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 4.88 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel. The 2019 RVO for biomass-based diesel was set last year. The proposed 2019 RVOs would allow for up to 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel to meet the annual blending requirement, most of which is corn ethanol. The rulemaking also proposes to set the 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 2.43 billion gallons, up 330 million gallons when compared to the 2019 and 2018 RVOs of 2.1 billion gallons. A public comment period on the proposal is open through Aug. 17.