EPA re-issues RFS required volume obligations
NCC: 2016 proposed volumes likely to break blend wall, drive up food costs
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 29 re-issued the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) required volume obligations, a full 18 months after they were to be final. The initial 2015 standards are also just now being proposed with the May 29 announcement, more than five months after they too were to be finalized. The EPA has not met its statutory deadlines to set the biofuels volumes under the RFS since 2009, the National Chicken Council (NCC) said, and this year's and last year's compliance volumes still will not be finalized until November 2015.
"These are clear and continued signs that the RFS, and its implementation, are broken beyond repair," said NCC President Mike Brown in response to the RFS announcement.
Moreover, under the original statute, the 2014 through 2016 compliance years were to include a cumulative total of 9 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol. Instead the EPA has called for 345 million gallons – less than four percent of the initial goals, another sign that the RFS was based on flawed assumptions.
"Meanwhile, EPA has mandated the use of approximately 10 billion bushels of corn over the next two years exacerbating the food versus fuel conflict," Brown added. "America's chicken producers are just another drought, freeze or flood away from another crippling year of high feed prices. To date, the RFS has cost the chicken industry more than $50 billion in higher feed costs."
The EPA plans to issue final volume requirements in late November, which could be higher than what the agency proposed today.
Brown concluded, "Fortunately, legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate this year to repeal the RFS corn-ethanol mandate, with broad bipartisan support. Congress should immediately take up this legislation and send it to the president's desk."