EPA’s Final RFS Blending Level Rule for 2023-2025 is Step Back for Iowa Biofuels

IRFA Offers Open Invitation for President Biden to Attend Iowa State Fair

Contact: Emma Koehler

JOHNSTON, IOWA – The EPA today finalized the rule setting Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending levels for 2023 through 2025. Disappointing Iowa biofuels producers and farmers, EPA cut the proposed blending levels for ethanol in 2024 and 2025, while increasing biodiesel blending levels well below current use.

“IRFA members are shocked and disappointed that today the EPA took ethanol blending a step backward from their historic proposal,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw. “EPA also chose to ignore the rapid growth of biodiesel and renewable diesel. The biomass-based diesel number set for 2025 appears to be less than the market will actually use this year. So not only does the final rule fail to promote advanced biofuels like biodiesel, any advanced blending credits generated above the low RFS blending level will spill over into the conventional market to displace ethanol. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

EPA had proposed conventional blending levels of 15.25 billion gallons for both 2024 and 2025. In the final rule, both years were reduced to 15 billion gallons. Over the 2023 to 2025 timeframe, biomass-based diesel blending levels were increased a cumulative 550 million gallons, but the US Energy Information Administration is projecting annual increases of 800 to 900 million gallons.

“What changed in the marketplace to justify cutting ethanol blending by half a billion gallons? Nothing,” stated Shaw. “It’s just hard to put your head around the logic for any of this. Today, IRFA would like to invite President Biden to attend the Iowa State Fair to meet with farmers and biofuel producers. Let’s grab a pork chop on a stick, sit down, and try to work out why this EPA continues to ignore the proven ability of Midwest biofuels to be part of the energy security, jobs and low carbon solution.”

The EPA did remove a controversial proposal from the final rule that would have allowed RFS blending credits to be generated by electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, known as eRINs.

“The one bit of good news in the final rule appears to be short-lived,” stated Shaw. “When in DC last week, we continually heard that EPA is planning to rework and repropose the so-called ‘eRINs’ scheme later this year. I hope this is not true. The Biden administration has done quite a bit to promote EVs. They do not need to electrify the one policy designed to allow low-carbon liquid fuels a foothold in the marketplace.”

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 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 410 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org.