KCGA Statement on EPA Ethanol Final Rule

Dec. 19, 2019–Kansas Corn joins the National Corn Growers Association in expressing concern over EPA’s final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule, setting renewable fuel volume requirements for the coming year, including accounting for 2020 refinery waivers. At issue is the use of a three-year average of Department of Energy (DOE) recommended waivers as an estimate for 2020 waivers rather than an average of actual gallons waived by the EPA, which has been twice the amount of the DOE recommendations.

“EPA is saying ‘trust us’, but the agency’s previous actions handing out waivers to refiners don’t assure us that they will honor their publicly stated commitment to uphold the final rule as we go forward,” KCGA CEO Greg Krissek said. “We will hold the Administration to their commitment of a minimum 15 billion gallon volume, and we’ll continue to work toward implementation of positive efforts that have been promised including rulemaking to benefit E15 as well as an infrastructure development program.”

The Renewable Fuels Standard, which provides market access for ethanol, sets the levels of ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply each year with the Renewable Volume Obligation. In the past three years, EPA has aggressively approved refinery exemptions to the RFS which eliminated over four billion gallons of ethanol demand. The 2020 obligation is set at 15 billion gallons, and growers remain concerned whether the mechanisms in this final rule will guarantee that the full volume obligation will be honored going forward.