Franken calls for higher ethanol targets

Source: By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield • Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2016

A U.S. Senator from Minnesota is calling on the EPA to raise 2017 ethanol targets.

The proposal is 200 million gallons less than the Renewable Fuels Standard statute, and Al Franken says he’s been talking to administrator Gina McCarthy about the so-called “blend wall.”

“It’s a real chicken/egg thing because unless we have the high level of ethanol, there are not going to be blender pumps (or other) infrastructure.  And of course the oil companies in many cases own and control the gas stations, and they don’t like ethanol so they don’t put in blender pumps.  To me this is almost an anti-trust issue.”

He tells Brownfield further investment in renewable fuels infrastructure is needed.

“(USDA) Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack created a $100 million program to increase infrastructure, and we had millions of dollars of extra infrastructure put in Minnesota.  That helped (meet) this year’s goal, and we need to do that.”

While the deadline to submit comments to the EPA about the Renewable Fuels Standard targets is less than a month away, Franken says he’ll keep pushing for higher volumes until the final numbers are released in November.