This week, Governor Pete Ricketts submitted an official comment to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed rule to set renewable fuel volumes for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
The EPA’s decision to exempt oil refineries from their renewable volume obligations for compliance years 2016-2018 decreased demand for ethanol by more than 4 billion gallons. In his comment, the Governor emphasized that the unprecedented number of exemptions granted by the EPA has caused unpredictability in the ethanol market. He also expressed that the EPA’s actions have adversely affected the corn growers and ethanol plants who count on the steady demand for their products that a stable RFS provides.
“A strong biofuels market is essential at this time when farmers and biofuels producers are navigating the continued cyclical downturn in agriculture, combined with record weather-related challenges and ongoing impacts to the industry from trade uncertainty,” wrote Gov. Ricketts. “We need to have confidence in the EPA and White House that the RFS will guarantee at least a net 15 billion gallons of ethanol demand for compliance year 2020 as soon as possible.”
Governor Ricketts is a past chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. In multiple conversations with the EPA, he has repeatedly called on the agency to honor its pledge to guarantee the full demand for ethanol established by the RFS. In addition, he has urged the EPA to restore the gallons of ethanol demand that have been lost in recent years due to oil refinery exemptions.
You can read the Governor’s comment to the EPA by clicking here.