Congress members urge EPA to reconsider proposed RVO

Congress members urge EPA to reconsider proposed RVO

Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal reduces blending target for cellulosic biofuels.

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November 27, 2017
Hilary Crisan
Conversion Technologies Legislation and regulations
Eighteen members of Congress have addressed a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to reconsider his treatment of cellulosic biofuels in the proposed 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Pruitt’s proposal currently reduces the blending target for cellulosic biofuels, a move the letter says “calls for zero growth in biodiesel. This proposal will curtail investment in innovation and have an adverse impact on our country.”

The Nov. 16 letter says the proposed RVO will specifically affect communities of color and urban areas that face issues with air pollution and high costs of living, including gasoline prices. “We urge you to reverse course in the final rule and correct these deficiencies in the cellulosic and biodiesel sectors,” the letter reads.

According to the letter, cellulosic biofuels is growing to commercial scale with private investment that is “driven by the policy certainty of the RFS.” Congress members say the proposed RVO will “stall … economic growth and limit [biofuels] expansion to urban areas outside of the farm belt by going backwards of the RFS and slowing investment in this sector.”

Members of congress say in the letter that biofuels reduce air pollution through cutting particulate matter, ozone and greenhouse gas emissions as well as prevent the need for additives such as benzene in gasoline. “Cellulosic ethanol is the lowest carbon biofuel in the world today, with gallons in today’s marketplace reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 90 percent on a lifecycle basis,” the letter reads.

To read the letter in full, click here.