Minneapolis, June 26 – The EPA’s proposed 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) maintains conventional ethanol blending at 15 billion gallons but does not address gallons that will be lost from the agency’s RVO-waivers to oil refineries.
In a statement today, the EPA proposed the total RVO for 2019 at 19.88 billion gallons, up from 19.29 billion gallons this year. Of the 19.88 billion gallons, 15 billion gallons would be met with corn ethanol. The RVO for corn ethanol this year is also 15 billion gallons.
However, it is estimated that the EPA’s continued issuance of RVO waivers to small oil refineries will reduce corn ethanol consumption by 1.6 billion gallons.
“As long as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, continues to handout waivers to the oil industry – and he has given no indication that he will stop - the 15-billion-gallon target is fictitious.
“A report today says that even the Department Of Energy (DOE) doesn’t agree with some of the waivers that have been doled out by the EPA,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Reuters reported today that the EPA had granted some refineries full waivers even after the DOE had recommended partial waivers. This included full waivers for refineries owned by a company that posted $1.4 billion in net income in 2017, the report said. The EPA has yet to disclose the companies that have received the RVO waivers.
“These waivers, if left to stand, can eviscerate the very foundation upon which the RFS is built on, which is exactly what the oil industry wants,” Rudnicki said.
Apart from corn ethanol, the EPA also proposed 4.88 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2019, up from 4.29 billion in 2018.