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BIO Urges EPA to Help Boost America’s Rural Economy

On Friday, August 17, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its authority under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to strengthen America’s biobased economy.

Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2018) – On Friday, August 17, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its authority under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to strengthen America’s biobased economy.

Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, released the following statement on BIO’s submission of comments on EPA’s proposed 2019 RFS volumes:

“At a time when America’s farmers and rural businesses are suffering under the weight of low crop prices and so much trade uncertainty, EPA should seize the opportunity afforded by the RFS program to promote the type of innovation that will help grow advanced and cellulosic biofuels, create more good paying jobs, and help revitalize rural America by strengthening our world-leading biobased economy.

“The RFS program is an important program for ensuring that America’s rural economies can remain globally competitive and that the hard-working families in these communities are able to flourish and thrive.

“To help protect and grow rural America, and ensure that we have a globally competitive biobased economy, the EPA needs to further boost advanced and cellulosic biofuel volumes to drive more investment in these technologies, and must address the resulting demand destruction from its increased issuance of small refiner exemptions (SRE) under the RFS.

“EPA’s increased issuance of SREs undermines the agency’s obligations to enforce both the letter and spirit of the law, and it must reallocate the gallons lost to waivers – as the agency intended in earlier drafts on the proposed rule.  Further, EPA should unequivocally reject any further proposals to artificially lower RIN (Renewable Identification Numbers) prices through increased SREs, a price cap, or RINs for exports.

“While BIO applauds EPA for its recent approval of the grain sorghum oil renewable fuel pathway, the agency must move more quickly on approving other new pathways for the development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, as well as registrations for facilities that seek to produce cellulosic biofuel from corn kernel fiber.  Removing these regulatory barriers will help increase domestic production of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, which in turn will not only further boost America’s biobased economy, but also will improve the U.S. transportation sector and our environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating particulate matter responsible for the formation of ground-level ozone.”  

BIO submitted its comments on EPA’s proposed 2019 volumes on Friday, available to view here.