The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now set its biofuel blending mandate to 19.88 billion gallons for 2019, an increase of three percent from 2018. The Renewable Fuel Standard allows for biofuel refining exemptions to small refineries, and these exemptions totaled 2.25 million gallons in both 2016 and 2017. Large refineries have been forced to blend additional biofuel to compensate for volumes lost through these waivers, a practice EPA chief Scott Pruitt proposed repealing in 2018.
These new policy proposals also leave the corn-based ethanol blending mandate at 15 billion gallons for 2018, angering corn farmers across the midwest who are desperate for new revenue streams. Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, remains positive on the prospect of cellulosic ethanol. Buoyed by the proposed three percent hike, he contends that the policy is a thumb in the eye to the wider US corn ethanol industry as cellulosic ethanol production remains minor in the US. As the EPA proposes new policies that affect US farmers, Gro Intelligence provides subscribers with the data and analytics necessary to keep up with 2018/19 corn production trends and their implications for the ethanol industry.