Deal reached to promote biofuels

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Ethanol sign
Ethanol sign (Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced an agreement Oct. 4 on the Renewable Fuel Standard, which could lead to more biofuel blending.

Under the deal, the EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements, to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020.

This accounts for relief provided to small refineries. The EPA waived the obligation for 31 small refineries in the most recent compliance year. EPA intends to take final action on this issue later this year.

The EPA will also begin a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E-15, building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E-15.

The USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.

Congress passed the renewable fuel standard program initially in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil. It was expanded in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

In addition to the goals of increasing production of home-grown renewable fuels, the program aims to support domestic demand for farm commodities, increase farm income and create rural jobs.

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