The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for issuing annual regulations to ensure fuel sold in the U.S. contains the correct volume of renewable fuel by November 30. EPA is taking comments on the proposed 2019 volume regulation through August 17. The proposed 2019 RFS volume rule gives EPA an opportunity to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive RFS exemptions granted to refineries over the past year.




Given the serious impact of refinery exemptions and EPA’s failure to propose any reallocations in the volume rule, it’s important for EPA to hear from farmers:


  • The proposed 2019 RFS volume rule gives EPA an opportunity to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive RFS exemptions granted to refineries over the past year.


  • Farmers have no confidence in the proposed volumes. If EPA continues to issue retroactive refinery exemptions and fails to reallocate exempted gallons to other obligated parties, EPA’s annual volumes are meaningless.


  • In the proposed rule, EPA stated that retroactive refinery exemptions for 2016 and 2017 volume requirements totaled 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. These refinery exemptions reduce ethanol blending, which reduces demand for farmers’ crops, yet EPA proposed nothing to restore these exempted volumes to the RFS.


  • EPA also failed to estimate and reallocate any refinery exemptions that may be granted for 2019 obligations after the volume rule is final. EPA went so far as to say the agency would not even consider comments on how 2019 exemptions are accounted for.  The magnitude of these exemptions for agriculture should not be disregarded, and farmers deserve to have their voices heard.


  • EPA must reallocate or restore renewable fuel gallons from exemptions already granted and ensure that future refinery exemptions are accounted for and reallocated to make the RFS whole.



Read NCGA Comments to EPA



University of Illinois



The Renewable Fuel Standard:


  • Has spurred economic growth for farmers and rural communities


  • Provides a dependable structure that assists in stabilizing markets and promoting new technological advancements in the biofuels industry


  • Is NOT a “mandate.”

    • The standards set by the EPA simply allows more American-made products to be part of America’s fuel supply.

    • We should be strengthening our commitment to renewable fuels, not backing down.



RFS Overview

For more than 20 years, the National Corn Growers has worked side by side with farmers, industry, and government to build the ethanol industry from the ground up. Corn farmers across the country and the ethanol industry have helped America move one step closer to energy independence.  Our industry is also a major force in the revitalization of rural America by helping create green jobs and stimulating economic activity in rural communities. 


Corn farmers and the ethanol industry play a significant role in promoting both energy independence and a stable, prosperous U. S. economy.  All this has been possible due in large part to the passage of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2005 and expansion in 2007.  The RFS has been a remarkable success and has helped to promote cleaner, greener fuels while also helping America become more energy independent.  We must protect the integrity of the RFS.



Other Resources


Download NCGA’s RFS Issue Brief


NCGA background on small refinery lawsuits


Read the Austin Dillon Op-Ed on the RFS