Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency issued proposed changes to the 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard, lowering the requirements for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and ethanol to 15.2 billion gallons.
EPA is proposing this action to address the “blend wall” issue, or the maximum amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline at a rate of 10 percent. With gas use decreasing, the “blend wall” is reached at a lower volume of ethanol.
EPA is accepting comments on their proposed changes to the standard and the announcement last week generated initial responses from biofuels groups addressing current plantings and jobs within the industry as well as reaction from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who stated, “I am pleased that EPA is requesting comments on how we can help the biofuels industry expand the availability of high-ethanol blends, and I hope the industry uses the comment period to provide constructive suggestions. Together, we will be able to chart a path forward that maintains President Obama’s strong commitment to an ‘All of the Above’ energy strategy for our nation.”