WASHINGTON – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Aug. 6 finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program established by Congress.
The final fuel standard requires 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the US fuel supply. Specifically, the requirements are:
• Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.13 percent)
• Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.62 percent)
• Cellulosic biofuels (6.00 million gallons; 0.004 percent)
Livestock and poultry groups submitted comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the negative impact the RFS has had on their industries. Industry stakeholders attributed surging corn prices to the E10 blend wall. To address those concerns the EPA proposed "flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal."
"The National Chicken Council appreciates that EPA has finally recognized the reality of the situation and is willing to consider adjustments to the 2014 volume requirements of the RFS to address the fact that we simply cannot blend more and more ethanol into less and less gasoline," said Mike Brown, president of NCC. "This is a band-aid approach, however, to a problem that needs a long-term, sustainable solution. Chicken producers, and all end users of corn, can't rely upon the administration to make these adjustments on an annual basis.
"We need certainty in the market that only Congress can provide by repealing the conventional requirements of the RFS."
EPA also extended the deadline to comply with 2013 volume requirements by four months to June 30, 2014.