The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday proposed a 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule that would increase required ethanol blends for gasoline, but still falls short of the statutory requirements advocated by AEM and other industry groups.
The EPA released its proposed RFS rule, which increases the required ethanol blend levels over 2016. Still, the levels proposed by the EPA would not meet the targets initially set by Congress when it first adopted the RFS.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard plays an important role in promoting American energy security and the strength of the U.S. agricultural sector,” AEM President Dennis Slater said in a statement. “Almost 28,000 manufacturing jobs across the country depend on ethanol production.”
The RFS had become a hot-button election year issue during the presidential primaries earlier this year, and the subject of intense Beltway lobbying over the future of the RFS. As a member of the Fuels America coalition, AEM has actively worked to promote a robust Renewable Fuel Standard.
Still, the RFS rule – which was proposed at an earlier point this year compared to last year – is not yet final. The EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal on June 9 in Kansas City, Missouri, and accept public comments on the rule until July 11.
“AEM and agricultural machinery manufacturers will continue to advocate for a strong and sensible Renewable Fuel Standard, while educating elected leaders as well as voters about the importance of the RFS to the equipment manufacturing industry,” Slater said.