Today’s announcement of EPA’s final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a positive step only if EPA chooses not to grant additional RFS exemptions to refiners according to Kansas Corn leaders. The RFS provides market access for renewable fuels like ethanol.
The RVO sets the volume of renewable fuels required by the RFS for the coming year. While the ethanol levels are in accordance with the Renewable Fuel Standard, KCGA remains concerned about potential refinery exemptions.
“EPA did what it was supposed to do with the RVO and we appreciate that,” Kansas Corn CEO Greg Krissek said. “However, the ethanol industry continues suffer from uncertainty because of the pending requests from oil refiners to be exempted from the RFS. One bright spot is USDA and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s continued support for biofuels and reaching out to EPA on the waiver review process.”
Kansas Corn Commission Chairman Dennis McNinch, who farms in west central Kansas, said the commission is continuing its work to build infrastructure to make blends like E15 available to consumers in more locations across the state and the nation.
“We are working to build demand and build an infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol, like E15, which benefits consumers, retailers and the environment. But we have serious concerns about the market impacts of pending waiver requests from oil refiners who don’t want to comply with the RFS,” McNinch said.
While EPA has completed a rule that allows year-round sales of E15 fuel, and in the RVO rule, has followed the RFS law in setting renewable fuel levels, uncertainty remains for corn and ethanol producers.
“As usual, we are waiting for the other shoe to drop,” McNinch said. “We have been urging the Trump administration, and EPA to deny another round refinery waivers. EPA has granted an unprecedented amount of refinery waivers in the last few years that have sent shock waves through the ethanol industry. Honestly, we cannot handle any more government-generated demand loss for our product.”
As EPA implements this volume rule, and considers pending petitions for RFS exemptions, Kansas Corn urges the agency to prevent further demand destruction and support a strong RFS that will benefit America’s farmers and rural communities, provide cleaner air and boost our nation’s energy security.
The Kansas Corn Growers Association represents its grower members in legislative and regulatory issues and promotes corn and corn products. The Kansas Corn Commission invests grower checkoff dollars in the areas of market development, education, research and promotion.