As part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) today, calling for maintaining the same level of conventional biofuels as the last two years.
The minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in 2019 was 19.88 billion gallons. Conventional biofuels will remain at 15 billion gallons of that total next year. Advanced and cellulosic biofuels, often made from dried distillers grains (DDGS) and corn residue, will increase slightly from 4.57 billion gallons to 5.26 billion in 2019.
While the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) was pleased to see conventional biofuels remain at 15 billion gallons, the proposed RVO does not address the EPA’s actions to destroy demand for corn ethanol by issuing waivers to profitable refiners and oil companies. Waivers issued by the EPA over the last 18 months have reduced biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply by an estimated 1.6 billion gallons. By only maintaining conventional biofuel requirements in 2019, the lost volume is not restored.
MCGA will continue to work with its partners to prevent further damage to the RFS caused by the repeated issuing of waivers to refineries nationwide. The waivers exempt refineries from purchasing Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) credits to comply with the RFS, significantly reducing RIN prices and biofuel volumes.