The EPA released the final 2017 RFS volumes, raising the total amount of biofuels required for blending into gasoline and diesel from 18.1 billion gallons in 2016 to 19.28 billion gallons (15 billion gallons of corn ethanol). The 2018 biodiesel mandate was left unchanged from the proposal at 2.1 billion gallons earlier this year. Today’s increase represents a 10.7 percent equivalent ethanol-gasoline blend.
Numerous industry players have picked up the story, with opposing views evident: The Petroleum Marketers Association of America is “disappointed but not surprised that the outgoing Obama Administration decided to raise the ethanol mandate. PMAA will now work with the incoming Trump Administration to cap the ethanol mandate at 9.7 percent of gasoline supply going forward. Capping the ethanol mandate at 9.7 percent will resolve UST compatibility concerns with E10 plus blends, reduce RIN prices which will result in lower RFS compliance costs for refiners and preserve the ability for position holders at the rack to blend.”
On the other hand, the Renewable Fuels Association said that “The 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates a 1.2 billion gallon increase in the amount of renewable fuels blended into the fuel supply next year. ‘The move will send a positive signal to investors, rippling throughout our economy and environment,’ Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said.”