EPA Shows Support to Big Oil Not Farmers Through Renewable Volume Obligations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed it’s allegiance to Big Oil today when it released its final renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020.
“Today’s announcement is a disappointment, but not a surprise. Instead of the 2020 Renewable Fuels Standard being a win for Farm Country, and truly all Americans because of the clean air it could have provided, the 2020 RFS just proves clean air and farmers are not a priority,” says Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union, a grassroots farm organization, representing 18,000 family farmers and ranchers.
The December 19, 2019 RVOs show 4 billion gallons of hardship waivers will be granted to oil companies. Originally, the Trump Administration promised the RVO would mandate 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended in 2020. By allowing for 4 billion gallons of hardship waivers, instead the total number of blended ethanol gallons is now 11 billion.
Governor Noem is on the right track
Although he is disappointed in the Administration and EPA, Sombke is not discouraged, because of the work South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi Noem is doing through her involvement on the Governors’ Biofuel Coalition. And Noem’s commitment to higher ethanol blends, by fueling the state’s fleet with E30.
“We don’t need EPA mandates. It’s time we admit the only way forward for ethanol is the high-octane, low-carbon road. RFS was a good mechanism to this point but it’s time for ethanol to shine as a liquid fuel additive making us all winners by replacing poisonous carcinogens in gasoline. While at the same time giving our urban cousins cleaner air and our family farmers a solid market for their carbon storing corn crop. All the while strengthening our national security by lowering reliance on foreign oil,” Sombke explains.
Sombke adds that there is still an opportunity for the Administration to show support for clean air and farmers. “A win-win could be found through the EPA’s SAFE Rule. If the Administration would update the SAFE Rule (Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule) by implementing ethanol as the additive replacement for cancer-causing petroleum based chemicals currently found in non-ethanol blended gasoline. This would be a way for the Administration to show Farm Country that they truly care and get out from under the quagmire caused by SRE’s (small refinery exemptions) and a win for all Americans with cleaner air and strengthening our national defense.”
To learn more about the SAFE Rule, visit https://www.safegasolinecampaign.org/.