Producers request a White House meeting on RFS 

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Biofuel producers have asked President Obama for a “high level White House meeting” on U.S. EPA’s forthcoming rule setting renewable fuel mandates for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In a letter yesterday, biofuel producers said they were “deeply concerned” that EPA would issue a rule similar to one that the agency withdrew last year. That proposed rule called for cutbacks in the 2014 mandates for both conventional ethanol and advanced biofuels in the renewable fuel standard program.

According to the groups, the proposed rule and the ongoing delays in setting a final target for 2014 have led to decreased investment in the domestic advanced biofuels industry (Greenwire, May 4). Five biofuel companies and seven trade organizations representing the industry signed yesterday’s letter.

“Your decision on this matter has consequences far beyond simply setting the fuel mix for the next two years,” the groups told Obama. “This decision comes at a critical juncture for our industry.”

The signatories include POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC and Abengoa Bioenergy, two companies that last year opened large-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefineries in the Midwest.

EPA is working toward a June 1 deadline to issue a proposed rule setting the biofuel mandates for the next couple of years. Yesterday, oil trade groups urged the agency to retain the cuts to the program that EPA previously proposed (E&ENews PM, May 4).

Congress created the current RFS in 2007 as a means of increasing energy independence and reducing the carbon dioxide footprint of transportation fuel. In their letter, the biofuel entities framed the rule as a part of the Obama administration’s climate legacy.

“The good news is that final chapter on your energy and climate legacy has not yet been written,” they wrote. “There is still time to put the program back on track.”