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EPA Finalizes RFS Volume Standards, Includes Ethanol

Dec 02, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday issued its final rule on the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for biofuels. Although the proposed rule to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) issued earlier this year contained a lower ethanol blend requirement, the ethanol mandate will increase for 2016 under the final rule.

The RFS fuel mandate determines the amount of ethanol and biofuels refiners must blend into the nation’s fuel supply on a year-to-year basis. Ethanol uses nearly 40 percent of the corn grown in the United States. This has increased feed costs, squeezed producer’s margins and ultimately, increased the price of food worldwide.

For 2016, the EPA set the requirement at 14.5 billion gallons of biofuel, an increase of 500 million gallons from the proposed rule, yet 500 million gallons below the statutory limit set by Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

“This could be viewed as a win for the food industry, because the ethanol requirement will come in below the target amount established by Congress,” said Chelsee Woodey, director of legislative affairs for IDFA.

IDFA has been a longtime supporter of reforming the RFS and is active in a coalition of food groups that supports bipartisan legislation that would protect food makers and consumers from unnecessary food price increases. Several bipartisan bills have been introduced in Congress this year (H.R. 703, H.R. 704, S. 577 and S. 1584) to reform or repeal the corn-based ethanol requirement in the RFS.

After Monday’s announcement, the coalition issued a press release, saying it would continue to work with Congress in 2016 to repeal “this flawed regulation.”

For more information, contact Woodey at

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