Vilsack confident final 2014 RFS will be better for ethanol

Source: By Darren Goode, Politico • Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014

LAS VEGAS — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he is confident that the final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard will be better for biofuels than what EPA initially proposed last year.

Talking to reporters at the start of the National Clean Energy Summit, Vilsack referred to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s remarks earlier this week indicating that the required blending volumes will rise. Vilsack also mentioned that “Americans are indeed using more fuel than six, eight, nine, 12 months ago, and that’s obviously going to translate to additional opportunities in the RFS.”

He said he wasn’t disappointed in how long it has taken for EPA to finish the rule, which was originally due last November, noting that the agency received more than 300,000 comments. He said he also doesn’t worry that this type of delay is the new status quo.

What’s important, he said, is understanding that the RFS is “just one piece in an overall comprehensive strategy to move this industry forward.” That includes today’s announcement  that USDA has finished a $105 million loan guarantee for Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels to build a biorefinery in Nevada to convert landfill waste to commercial and military jet fuel.