The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule today that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Total renewable fuel volume as part of the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) is 19.29 billion gallons, which is relatively flat compared to 2017 volumes (19.28 billion gallons).
Of the 19.29 billion gallons, 15 billion gallons must come from conventional biofuels. Advanced and cellulosic biofuels, often made from dried distillers grains (DDGS) and corn residue, will increase slightly from 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 to 4.29 billion in 2018.
The EPA ruling to maintain renewable fuel volumes came after a summer of public and often contentious negotiations between the EPA and legislators from both corn- and oil-producing states. In the end, the EPA upheld its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard for conventional biofuels.
“We are happy to see the EPA is continuing to advance the renewable fuel standard by ensuring conventional ethanol production continues,” said Mitch Coulter, marketing and biofuels director with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “We are encouraged by the ongoing commitment to affordable fuel choices that not only lead to a cleaner environment, but also strengthen rural communities and help farmers facing tough economic times.”
MCGA will continue to work with the EPA and government officials to stress the benefits of increased advanced biofuel supply, which would increase the demand for DDGS. DDGS are a secondary product of ethanol production from grain and an established market for the nation’s corn supply with strong potential for growth.