There’s been plenty of confusion around potential changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and changes to the point of obligation.
Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Ia.) is throwing a wrench into the recent debates. He told the Des Moines Register these changes are only rumors and they won’t happen.
“I know the rumors, and I can tell you who was involved and I can tell you they are not true,” he said.
If they are true, one of the foremost ethanol experts in the country says it would create a big headache for fuel distributors.
“If the point of obligation is changed further down the system to the blenders or terminals, there would be about 1,000 of them instead of 150,” said Wally Tyner, agricultural economist at Purdue University. “It would be much harder to enforce, much harder to achieve compliance. Some have argued it would be the end of the RFS because you couldn’t enforce it.”
Tyner says no matter what happens with RFS, he thinks corn ethanol is here to stay since petroleum refiners have found the benefit of adding corn ethanol to the octane levels in gasoline. If anything, he says, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol could be in jeopardy.