Ethanol industry hopes to change EPA's mind on RFS cut

Author: Amy Volk | Posted: 11/25/2013

OMAHA (DTN) -- The 3-billion-gallon overall cut to the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency isn't necessary and possibly isn't even legal, representatives of the ethanol industry, agriculture groups and companies told Obama administration officials during a meeting at the White House Thursday.

However, while much of rural America is concerned a cut to the RFS could hurt the rural economy, if the proposed cut becomes final chances are it will have little or no effect on the corn-based ethanol industry, Renewable Fuels Association President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Dinneen said during an interview with DTN Thursday.

The corn-based portion of the RFS was capped at 15 billion gallons. Even if EPA changes the law, he said corn-based ethanol will continue to find markets beyond the E10 blend wall, perhaps through export channels. The blend wall is when total ethanol production exceeds the available U.S. market -- in this case E10.

The EPA proposal would cut the corn-based ethanol mandate from 14.4 billion gallons to 13 billion gallons in 2014. The proposal also includes cuts to cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels and biodiesel.

Source: DTN