Ethanol Industry Set To Fight EPA On Blend Rule

Iowa Farm Scene

What's behind EPA's move to cut the amount of biofuel blended into our nation's gasoline supply?

Published on: February 7, 2014

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association's annual meeting last week at Altoona was sharply focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce the volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA wants to reduce the amount of ethanol and biodiesel required to be blended into the nation's gasoline and diesel fuel supply. 

The RFS, a federal law passed by Congress in 2007, sets annual volume requirements for biofuels. Congress enacted the RFS to increase production and use of renewable fuels. The amount set by the RFS is a target, a minimum number of gallons of ethanol and biodiesel the petroleum industry must use. If they use more than this amount, that's ok, but they have to use at least the annual amount set by the RFS.

CONSUMERS WANT CHOICE: "Consumers want choice at the pump, the oil industry doesnt want them to have it," says Bob Dinneen. "Consumers like ethanol and biodiesel. But Big Oils near-monopoly on transportation and distribution of fuel in the U.S. is holding back the availability of biofuels, especially the higher blends."
CONSUMERS WANT CHOICE: "Consumers want choice at the pump, the oil industry doesn't want them to have it," says Bob Dinneen. "Consumers like ethanol and biodiesel. But Big Oil's near-monopoly on transportation and distribution of fuel in the U.S. is holding back the availability of biofuels, especially the higher blends."

Backers of RFS are urged to keep the heat on EPA; Iowa attorney general questions the legality of EPA's proposal
Speaking at the IRFA meeting, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller urged farmers and biofuel supporters to keep contacting EPA's top officials, to get the federal agency to reverse its proposal calling for a reduction in the RFS. The 60-day public comment period on EPA's proposed changes to the RFS ended January 28, the same day as IRFA's annual summit.

Branstad pledged to keep up his effort urging EPA to support a strong and growing RFS. "We have just begun the fight to reverse this proposed reduction," he said. "Big Oil may have the money, but we have the passion and good reasons to stand up for biofuels and I believe our message is getting through to Washington."