The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released proposed renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2023, 2024 and 2025, proposing annual growth in volumes. The RFS requires annual volumes of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, be used in the fuel supply to reduce emissions, expand and diversify the fuel supply, improve energy security and lower costs.
“We are pleased with EPA’s forward-looking approach of annual increases in the proposal,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “EPA clearly recognizes that renewable fuels like ethanol play a critical role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing U.S. energy independence and providing long-term relief to consumers at the pump. With continued pressure on energy security and costs and the need to accelerate carbon emission reductions, biofuels can contribute even more, and we will make that case to EPA for the final volumes.”
For 2023, EPA’s proposal includes an implied 15 billion gallons for conventional ethanol, which increases to 15.25 billion gallons for both 2024 and 2025. EPA also followed through on proposing to restore the remaining 250 million gallons from a prior court decision for 2023. EPA did not propose a specific update for lifecycle GHG assessments of biofuels but instead will take further comment and review options for a future update. Such an update is overdue and necessary to accurately reflect the shrinking carbon footprint of today’s ethanol, and NCGA will continue urging EPA to adopt the Department of Energy’s data-driven assessment.
The 2023-2025 proposal is EPA’s first RFS volume rule based on qualitative environmental, economic and agriculture factors listed in the statute, rather than specific volumes in law, which afforded EPA greater latitude in proposing these annual requirements within certain guardrails. As such, EPA builds on the strong baseline of the 2022 RFS volumes, which included the full statutory 15 billion gallons for ethanol, providing for future growth with this proposal.
NCGA will submit detailed comments to EPA on the proposal, and EPA has agreed to finalize the RFS volumes by June 2023.