Iowa leaders shared mixed reaction to new ethanol, biodiesel levels

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Monies Register • Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017

After battling efforts this summer to lower the renewable fuels mandate, Iowa political and industry leaders expressed mixed emotions with the new standard set for blending ethanol and biodiesel in the nation’s fuel supply.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today set the Renewable Fuel Standard for conventional corn-based ethanol at 15 billion gallons.

The advanced biofuel levels were set at 4.29 billion gallons, including 288 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel.

The 2019 biodiesel amount is set for 2.1 billion gallons, unchanged from 2018.

“I want to thank the EPA for setting the volume for conventional ethanol at the maximum of 15 million gallons. That’s so important for our farmers and our economy,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds in a statement today.

“But I’m disappointed that the EPA has chosen not to raise the biodiesel volume,” Reynolds said.

Altogether, the EPA will require that 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into the fuel supply.

“The EPA’s announced renewable volume obligations fall short of the full potential of the U.S. biofuels industry,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa.

“That is disappointing, particularly the lack of increase for biodiesel levels and the cut in cellulosic level requirements.”

“Increases in the volume requirements are justified and would be good public policy,” he said. “Congress intended for the RFS to drive growth in biofuels across all categories. Contrary to that goal, this final rule does little to encourage investment and growth in advanced biofuels.”