Groups ask EPA to prioritize cellulosic pathway approvals

Source: By Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018

Five Midwest biofuels associations sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to shift administrative time and staff away from demand-destroying Renewable Fuel Standard exemptions and toward pathway approvals for cellulosic ethanol.

The letter was signed by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Wisconsin BioFuels Association, South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association, and Illinois Renewable Fuels Association. It highlighted the disproportionate focus EPA has on approving small refinery exemptions from the RFS in contrast with their lack of urgency in approving ethanol plants’ pending applications for pathway approvals, including several applications to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber.

The associations implored EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to amend this imbalance and to expedite approvals of pathways to grow the RFS rather than undermine it.

“The discrepancy between the way EPA is handling RFS exemptions and cellulosic ethanol pathway approvals tells you everything you need to know about how this EPA is treating the RFS,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “The exemptions are rushed through in the dead of night after, at best, a cursory review. But cellulosic approvals are stalled for months based on vague references to data concerns when the same technology was previously approved. From the outside looking in, it’s hard not to conclude that a systematic effort to undermine the letter and spirit of the law is emanating from the highest levels of EPA. I wish they would prove these concerns unfounded.”

To view the complete letter sent to Pruitt today, click here.