More On EPA Issuing Final RVOs for 2020-2022


The Environmental Protection Agency issued the final Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020, 2021, and 2022 on Friday. The agency lowered conventional ethanol volumes to 12.5 billion gallons for 2020, advance biofuel to 4.63 billion, and cellulosic to 510 million. The rule also sets conventional ethanol at 13.79 billion gallons in 2021 and 15 billion in 2022. In a move sure to please the ethanol industry, the rule adds a supplemental 250 million gallons that was illegally waived in the 2016 RVO and denies 72 pending small refinery exemption requests. The EPA announcement also provides important guidance to limit the abuse of small refinery exemptions in the future. Below are various quotes from ag and ethanol industry leaders on the news.

Quote from Chris Edgington, Iowa farmer and President of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA):
“More ethanol in the fuel supply saves Americans money at the pump and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Higher renewable fuel volumes for this year, which will increase and diversify our fuel supply, come at a crucial time as policymakers are working to lower fuel prices. When President Biden visited an Iowa ethanol production facility in April, he said ethanol reduces our reliance on foreign oil, creates choice and competition at the pump for better prices, creates good-paying jobs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers agree, and the increased RFS volumes for 2022 and denial of pending refinery exemptions will advance these objectives and move renewable fuels forward.”  (Link to NCGA news release)

Quote from Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America:
“Clean Fuels and its members appreciate EPA Administrator Regan’s recognition that homegrown, clean fuels offer a better solution to high fuel prices stemming from high oil prices and supply shortages. We support EPA’s efforts to get the Renewable Fuel Standard back on track and to finalize 2022 volumes as a jumping off point for future growth. We stand ready to work with the agency to move forward and set volumes for 2023 and beyond. And we encourage the agency to quickly finalize new feedstocks pathways, such as that for canola oil. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are essential to keeping the U.S. economy moving right now, meeting more than 5 percent of the nation’s need for heavy duty transportation and shipping fuel. The clean fuels industry increased production and supply even during the economic emergency of the last few years, helping Americans save 4% on the cost of diesel fuel and all the other consumer items that rely on diesel fuel for shipping.” (Link to Clean Fuels Alliance America – formerly NBB)

Quote from Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy:
“These last six months have been a rude awakening for those who have grown complacent about U.S. energy supplies. EPA’s 2022 renewable fuel blending requirements will deliver savings at the pump for working families, slash carbon emissions, and strengthen U.S. energy security by bringing more American renewable fuel into our fuel supply. In just the last few months, E15 has been a shield against skyrocketing fuel prices, saving drivers almost $0.60 per gallon in some areas while American biofuels cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent compared to gasoline. We applaud President Biden and his EPA for this action, which will set the direction of total and advanced renewable fuel volumes for 2023 and beyond.” (Link to Growth Energy news release)

Quote from Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA):
“At long last, the RFS is being put back on track. Today’s actions by EPA and the Biden administration restore integrity and stability to the RFS program after several years of wanton mismanagement and abuse by the previous administration. The combination of a strong RVO for 2022, restoration of illegally waived volume from 2016, and a new direction for the SRE program puts the RFS program on solid footing for the future. We thank Administrator Regan and President Biden for honoring their commitments to implement the RFS in a way that is fair, transparent, and focused on growth. By requiring petroleum refiners to blend larger volumes of low-cost biofuels like ethanol, today’s actions will put downward pressure on gas prices and provide economic relief to American families facing record-high pump prices. In the last few days alone, wholesale ethanol prices have been as much as $1.30 per gallon lower than gasoline, leading to significant savings at the pump for consumers of ethanol-blended fuels like E10, E15, and E85.” (Link to RFA news release)

Quote from Brooke Coleman, Executive Director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council (ABBC):

“We commend the Biden Administration for holding the line and putting the RFS back on track, despite the theatrics coming from a small handful of anti-biofuel oil refiners still trying to pad their profits by betting on regulatory handouts. Breaking the stranglehold oil companies have on American consumers is the solution, not the problem, when it comes to inflation and economic growth. The math isn’t hard. Ethanol is trading at a $1.25 discount to gasoline. More biofuel at the pump keeps dollars in consumer pockets. The focus now should be on optimizing the RFS to drive innovation and further reduce carbon emissions. It’s time to double-down on the RFS to unleash advanced biotech industries across the country.” (Link to ABBC)