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Energy

Ethanol Makers Fight EPA’s Renewable Fuel Rule

by Glenn Hess, special to C&EN
January 18, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 3

Ethanol industry groups are asking a federal court to review a recent EPA rule that allows refiners to purchase and blend a smaller amount of renewable fuels into the U.S. fuel supply than Congress ordered nearly a decade ago. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into millions of liters of transportation fuel each year. Late last year, EPA said refiners are required to blend a total of 68.55 billion L of renewable fuels in 2016, well below the 84.23 billion-L target set by Congress in 2007. The law gives EPA the authority to waive the mandated volumes if there are supply problems such as production shortfalls. But ethanol makers say, “By focusing on fuel distribution capacity and demand rather than supply, the agency erroneously concluded that there was an inadequate supply of renewable fuel to justify a waiver of the levels established by Congress.” The petitioners include the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and the Renewable Fuels Association.

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