IRFA Tells EPA to Rethink RFS in Light of Recent Court Case

Contact: Cassidy Riley

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today during testimony on a proposed rule, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw told the EPA that the recent verdict in Americans for Clean Energy v. EPA should radically alter the factors EPA considers when determining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels this year and going forward.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that EPA violated the RFS when it sited market demand as reasoning for setting RFS levels below minimums laid out in the law. While that case reviewed the RFS levels set for 2014 through 2016, in his testimony Shaw emphasized the strong precedent should impact the rule currently under comment.

“The Court clearly affirmed that Congress’ intent for the RFS from the very beginning was to crack the petroleum monopoly and to push biofuels into the marketplace,” stated Shaw.  “The recent proposal from EPA was littered with red herrings like ‘consumer demand,’ ‘market constraints’ and ‘feedstock diversions.’ The letter of the law and the Court ruling clearly leave no place for backdoor excuses to maintain the petroleum monopoly. The new EPA leadership must flush this discredited approach from their thinking and from the final rule. Whether in a reset discussion or in setting biodiesel and ethanol levels, the EPA must act according to the clear directive from the Court.”

The comment period underway is for the proposed RFS levels for 2018 biofuels and 2019 biodiesel. The conventional fuel level – for which corn starch ethanol qualifies – was maintained at its 15 billion gallon statutory level in the proposal. The proposed 2019 biodiesel level was flatlined at 2.1 billion gallons, far below the 2016 consumption of 2.9 billion gallons. The proposal also cut cellulosic ethanol by 25 percent, a much deeper cut than was expected.

Big Oil is sure to make their opinions known during this comment period and biofuels supporters are encouraged to do the same. IRFA has made it possible for biofuels supporters to make their voice heard in less than a minute by going to to sign IRFA’s petitions to support ethanol and biodiesel.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually – including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 350 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: