The EPA officially published its proposed 2014 Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS), starting the clock on a 60-day comment period. Two weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its latest proposal on biofuel use.
That proposal significantly lowers the mandated levels of ethanol and biodiesel that must be blended into the nation's fuel supply. The EPA is considering revising its 2014 mandate in part because declining demand for gasoline has led to a corn ethanol "blend wall," the point at which the market cannot consume as much ethanol as the EPA requires to be produced.
While many commodity groups are discouraged by EPA’s proposal, livestock producers see it as a starting point for relief.
"We are excited, because that is a step in the right direction for cattle producers because we have been against the RFS for quite some time," says Collin Woodall, Vice President of Government Affairs for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. "We just don’t think the government should be picking winners and losers in the ethanol market. We live and die as cattle producers by the free market, and we think ethanol should, as well."
"The EPA better be hearing from farmers across the country explaining to them, 'Look, we planted 93 million acres of corn in anticipation of a growing renewable fuel market, not a shrinking one,'" says Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO.
The comment period is open until Jan. 28, 2014.
To comment on the proposal, go to Regulations.gov and click the blue "Comment Now" button in the upper right corner.