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Ethanol leaders say EPA still has to account for lost gallons

Ethanol industry leaders say the EPA’s recent change of policy on Small Refinery Exemptions is a start, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Geoff Cooper with the Renewable Fuels Association tells Brownfield the EPA’s change, of course, does not take care of re-allocating ethanol gallons that should have been blended with gasoline in years past. “Unfortunately, I don’t see this as applying immediately to those gallons and we think we’re going to have to continue working with EPA to claw back those lost volumes from the past.”

Cooper and Brian Jennings with the American Coalition for Ethanol say the EPA should formally reject all 66 pending requests for small refinery exemptions.

Cooper says there are several ways EPA can start repairing the damage from lost ethanol blending in the past. “They can add that lost volume to Renewable Volume Obligations for 2021 and 2022, and in fact we know they’re going to be drafting the volume obligations for 2023 and beyond very soon.”

The EPA under the Biden administration reversed course on the refinery waiver issue and now agrees with ethanol groups and the 10th Circuit Court ruling that restricts Small Refinery Waivers, as intended by the Renewable Fuels Standard.

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