The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday finalized volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and U.S. Senator Deb Fischer both applauded the proposal.
“I commend Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the U.S. EPA for the agency’s timely release of the final 2019 biofuel blending levels under the RFS,” said Governor Ricketts. “The RFS continues to be a crucial driver of biofuel investment and demand in Nebraska—the nation’s second largest ethanol producer. Biofuels create significant value-added agriculture market opportunities and benefits for our farmers, producers, and rural communities. The increase in the cellulosic and advanced volumes requirements for 2019 sends an important market signal that will help Nebraska producers meet the original goals of the RFS, so that increasing volumes of those fuels—in addition to conventional ethanol—will become a part of the nation’s fuel supply. I am encouraged by the robust 2019 blending levels and look forward to working with the agency to ensure that small refinery waivers do not inadvertently reduce the volumes.”
Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement today after the EPA announced the proposed 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations at 19.88 billion under the Renewable Fuel Standard:
“Nebraska is a national leader in ethanol production, and the Renewable Fuel Standard is critical to supporting the state’s economy. I welcome the EPA’s announcement of this proposal, which sets conventional ethanol at 15 billion gallons and increases advanced biofuel gallons. While the renewable fuel volumes proposed are a step in the right direction, continued oversight, especially in regards to small refinery exemption waivers, is needed to ensure the integrity of the RFS and that the law is not compromised.”
The EPA is required by law to finalize the upcoming year’s mandates for conventional ethanol and most advanced biofuels by November 30 of the previous year. Following the release of these proposed obligation, a public comment period is open.
With 25 ethanol plants producing more than 2 billion gallons, Nebraska is the second largest ethanol producing state in the nation. Today, ethanol contributes $5 billion to Nebraska’s economy every year.