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EPA Proposal Angers Farmers, Biofuel Producers for 2020

farmer biofuel

Tensions have continued to flare between the EPA and farmers and biofuel producers for 2020 regulations. The latter two were led to believe a certain amount of ethanol and biodiesel would be required by oil and gas companies by the Trump Administration recently. However, the EPA has reneged on that plan with their most recent proposal.

The issue boils down to the estimates being used by the EPA to determine the requirements for the next couple of years.

Initially, the EPA announced a plan on Oct. 4 detailing that it would take a three-year average of the actual exemptions made.

However, less than two weeks later, the EPA rolled out a new plan that changed how they would come up with that three-year average. Rather than looking at the actual exemptions made from the previous few years, the EPA would look at Department of Energy recommended the EPA waive. Unfortunately for farmers and biofuel producers, that would cut the actual exemptions made in half.

“It’s not based on any actual exemptions,” said Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “They never followed the DOE recommendations.”

Rural communities, farmers and renewable energy manufacturers depend upon accurate requirements for motor fuel refineries. The industry could take a hit if the larger oil refineries aren’t mandated to mix in as much ethanol and biodiesel.

“We are not sure what’s going on in Washington, D.C., but there is a disconnect between the White House and the” EPA, Ted Mottaz, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, said in a statement.

The plan is supposed to account for how 15 billion gallons of biofuel will be added to motor fuels next year. At this point, though, many of these affected businesses struggle to believe that’ll end up happening.

The Illinois Corn Growers Association said it’s farmers were “frustrated … to say the least.”

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