The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday issued its 2017 proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The agency has increased RFS volumes, but still not to the levels set in the statute. The following are statements from Wisconsin Corn Growers Association President, Casey Kelleher, and Wisconsin BioFuels Association President, Erik Huschitt.
“The EPAs new proposal is a clear improvement over previous RVOs, but is unfortunately still well below the numbers statutorily defined by the RFS,” said Wisconsin Corn Growers Association President Casey Kelleher. “While we’re glad to see an increase, WCGA continues to call on the EPA to act on congressional intent and increase the RVOs to the levels required by law.”
The 2017 RVO proposed for conventional/corn ethanol is 14.8 billion gallons, an increase from 14.5 billion gallons in 2016. The statutory level for conventional biofuels is 15 billion gallons.
“The RFS has been vital in spurring development in the renewable energy industry right here in Wisconsin and across the nation. Wisconsin is home to nine ethanol facilities producing 500 million gallons a year. Beyond the tremendous economic impact the RFS has had in Wisconsin, America has become less dependent on foreign oil since the law’s enactment” said Wisconsin BioFuels Association President Erik Huschitt. “The proposed RVO is close to where it needs to be, but the fact remains: the EPA has no authority set their numbers lower than those set in statute.”
The EPA will hold a public hearing on this proposal on June 9, 2016 in Kansas City, MO. The period for public comment will be open until July 11. The rule is expected to be finalized by November 30.