LINCOLN-(KFOR Oct. 4)-The Trump administration says it plans to implement new rules that will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply by 2020.
The plan will increase demand for ethanol, reversing a decline caused by exemptions given to oil refineries. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted 31 small refinery exemptions in the most recent compliance year.
The proposal announced Friday follows months of complaints by farmers, politicians and the ethanol industry that the federal government’s granting of waivers to refiners had violated federal law and forced some ethanol plants to close. Senator Deb Fischer played an integral part in conversations with the Trump administration to secure the deal.
“In my discussions with the president, I fought hard for a fair deal for Nebraska’s farmers and ethanol producers,” said Senator Fischer. “Today’s announcement means more certainty for families, businesses, and communities across the Good Life.”
This deal follows an announcement by the EPA earlier this year to allow the year-round sale of E-15, a higher-ethanol blend of fuel. Governor Pete Ricketts says this is a step in the right direction for helping Nebraska’s farm families who have been suffering from low commodity prices. “Ensuring [Renewable Volume Obligations] do not go below 15 billion gallons and expanding access to E15 will bolster… ethanol production at a critical time for our nation’s rural economy,” said Governor Ricketts.
The administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues. The USDA will also seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.
READ MORE: Nebraska Farm Bureau Urges USDA To Look At Meat Packing Industry