Report: Biden Considers More RFS Cuts

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- One month after EPA announced a Renewable Fuel Standard proposal that calls for 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol in 2022, a new media report suggests the administration may be poised to draw back on that proposal.

Early in December, EPA announced proposed corn-ethanol cuts to the RFS for 2020 and 2021, while calling for the full 15 billion gallons in 2022.

That EPA proposal called for retroactive cuts to the corn-ethanol portion of RFS volumes below 15 billion gallons at 12.5 billion for 2020 and sets the level at 13.32 billion for 2021.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, the Biden administration reportedly is considering cutting corn ethanol's portion of the 2022 volumes to below 15 billion gallons.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said during a House Agriculture Committee hearing on electric vehicles in rural America that if the report is true, it would mean the administration is going the wrong direction on the RFS.

"We have plenty of experience with rumors being reported in the news, sometimes not quite accurately," Cooper said, "but we would be greatly concerned if EPA is backtracking on its very recent proposal to make sure that we return to that 15-billion-gallon statutory requirement for conventional fuels renewable fuels in 2022.

"We're going to try and get to the bottom of those rumors and will be absolutely insisting that EPA and this administration follow through on their commitment to restore that 15-billion-gallon commitment for 2022 and beyond."

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a statement to DTN she believes the administration will stick to its recent proposal.

"Rumors like these --- if true --- would only run counter to making meaningful progress on lowering carbon emissions and investing in important clean energy jobs across rural America," she said.

"The administration has indicated blending requirements will remain strong and at 15 billion gallons for 2022, and we have every expectation that they will deliver on that promise."

If the report is true, it would coincide with what petroleum industry representatives were asking from the EPA in a Jan. 4 public hearing on the agency's latest proposals.

In addition, agriculture and biofuels industry representatives called for the agency to pull the proposal to retroactively cut RFS volumes for 2020.

Read more on DTN:

"Biofuels to EPA: Pull '20 RFS Proposal," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

"EPA Proposes Corn-Ethanol Cuts to RFS," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley

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