Tag Archives: E15

GARNETT, Kan. — Kansas’ ethanol stakeholders participated in discussions with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC on Tuesday morning to review the current state of the ethanol industry and how EPA decisions are impacting Kansas farmers and ethanol processors.

Renew Kansas board member and President/CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy, Bill Pracht, provided a tour of the facility’s ethanol and renewable diesel operations before turning the event over to a lively standing-room-only conversation on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“We thank Administrator Pruitt for coming to Kansas and listening to our concerns and current challenges,” Renew Kansas Chairman and Western Plains Energy CEO Derek Peine, said. “His commitment to year-round E15 sales and reallocation of refinery waivers to the RFS obligations to account for lost demand is appreciated; but until action and results are seen, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Kansas agriculture will be watching to make sure Pruitt lives up to the commitments he made today and that he follows through on the repeated commitments President Trump has made to renewable fuels.”

Corn growers and ethanol supporters explained the problems EPA has caused by decreasing demand for ethanol. Pruitt explained he had to grant the small refinery exemptions because of a recent court ruling allowing refiners to only show financial hardship, but did not articulate how financial hardship was defined.

Renew Kansas President and CEO Ron Seeber noted, “Administrator Pruitt learned, without a doubt, that the industry is frustrated. We hope this is a wakeup call to the administration that the farm belt is watching and seeking unbiased biofuel leadership.”

Pruitt thanked each person in attendance and said he supported an RVP waiver that would allow year-round E15 sales and believes EPA has the authority to grant it, eventually. Pruitt also thought the gallons in the refinery waivers should be reallocated to the RFS obligations to account for lost demand.

Under Administrator Pruitt’s guidance, EPA has granted 1.6 billion gallons in waivers, with an estimated economic impact of $5.3 billion in lost markets for ethanol, corn and RINs. A RIN is assigned to every gallon of ethanol blended to prove compliance with the RFS law which provides market access for ethanol.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency officials met today to discuss ways to increase ethanol usage and to address refiner concerns about volatility in the market for biofuel credits.

An Agri-Pulse report says the meeting followed months of discussions at the White House on the issue. It also follows months of concerns over the way EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is overseeing the program. The ethanol industry is pressing the EPA to finally move forward with issuing a vapor pressure waiver that will allow E15 to be sold all year.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says President Trump promised to protect the statutory targets under the RFS. “We support Secretary Perdue’s efforts to ensure the EPA upholds the commitment to rural families,” Skor says, “and there’s no reason to delay or attach unrelated gimmicks to benefit a few refinery owners.” The meeting comes as Marathon, the nation’s second-largest refining company, is seeking a waiver from the RFS blending requirements.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Marathon request shows that the “embarrassing loophole,” as he calls the RFS waiver authority, needs to be fixed.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delay in allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline threatens harm to markets for family farmers, according to National Farmers Union (NFU). NFU President Roger Johnson Tuesday wrote to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging EPA to immediately institute a waiver for summertime sales of E15.

 

Johnson noted that year-round use of E15 would have significant benefits for farmers, the economy, energy independence, and the environment. Currently, an arbitrary restriction on use of E15 in summer months is limiting the amount of ethanol that can be blended into the nation’s transportation fuel supply. Yet while EPA has been actively working on allowing year-round use of E15 since October 2017, and President Donald Trump committed to allowing an E15 waiver earlier this year, EPA has yet to take any action or provide any time table as to when a waiver can be expected. This delay in issuing a waiver is threatening to upend any potential benefits of a waiver in the upcoming summer months of 2018.

 

“It is now May, and the summer restrictions on E15 for this year are looming with no apparent movement from EPA on this issue,” said Johnson in his letter to Administrator Pruitt. “Year-round use of E15 is not a new issue for EPA; this has long been supported by the biofuels industry and agriculture. We urge you to act in an expedited manner to follow President Trump’s direction to allow the use of E15 this summer.”

 

Johnson noted that farmers are currently facing severe economic difficulties, and that recent actions by EPA, such as granting numerous small refinery exemptions with little information to the public, have exacerbated these difficulties by undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard and demand for higher blends of ethanol. Johnson said a waiver on E15 is an important first step to mitigating these issues and moving the country towards use of higher blends of ethanol, like E30.

 

“Farmers have worked hard to build value-added markets,” he said. “The RFS and E15 provide significant economic opportunities for farmers facing increasing uncertainty and loss of demand. EPA must provide appropriate signals to the market, and this Administration must follow through on its promises.”