WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2013-- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement today regarding reports on the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft proposal to reduce ethanol consumption mandate in the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard.
The Administration is considering a plan to require 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into gasoline next year. Congress initially wrote an 18 billion gallon mandate.
Vilsack noted that the EPA is still developing its draft proposal for the 2014 renewable fuel standards. Last year, EPA required 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol.
“The EPA has not yet reached a final decision regarding that proposal, and will not do so until all stakeholders have had the opportunity to comment and to provide input on what is required for this industry, and the rural communities that depend on it, to continue to thrive,” Vilsack said.
In a blog posted Thursday, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dineen emphasized that the Administration has yet to present a final determination, and that any proposed renewable volume obligations will be under public review.
However, he shared his views on potential changes to requirements due to concerns about the “blend wall.” Refiners say the combination of declining fuel consumption and concerns about selling gas with more than 10 per cent ethanol would cause a hike in production costs and eventually gasoline prices for consumers.
“A decision by EPA to adjust RFS requirements based on perceived ‘market constraints’ would send devastating signals to the agriculture sector, investors in next-generation biofuels, automakers, fuel blenders, and other entities up and down the renewable fuels supply chain,” Dineen said.
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