ACE Issues Statement on Final RFS Rule

With the recent signing of the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) voiced its support but noted an inconsistency.

Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President, stated, “The Renewable Fuels Standard is an historic program to support ethanol production and use, and we applaud the EPA for its diligent and professional work during this rulemaking process. ACE is pleased that the RFS is now finalized and the ethanol industry can begin setting this important national standard into motion.” But Jennings added, “While we have not been able to sift through the entire rule, it appears the final regulation closely mirrors the proposed rule, and on balance we are pleased with the outcome. However, the American Coalition for Ethanol does have serious concerns about the legality of and rationale for the ‘equivalency values’ that EPA invented during the rulemaking process. Congress assigned cellulosic ethanol with a 2.5:1 credit ratio in the law to encourage new and energy efficient ethanol production processes, and ACE strongly supports this credit ratio for cellulosic ethanol.” “Nevertheless, we are very disappointed EPA has used that as the rationale to take this a step farther by creating ‘equivalency values’ and assigning other fuels extra credits based upon BTU content. This is sure to undermine ethanol use by creating ‘virtual gallons’ and paper credits of other fuels, which can be used to replace physical gallons of ethanol. This is inconsistent with the law and a bad policy precedent to set. ACE looks forward to working in conjunction with the EPA to host RFS implementation workshops so that our members can learn about the compliance requirements of the Renewable Fuels Standard,” he said. The agency plans for the final rule to go into effect on September 1, 2007, which will enable stakeholders and obligated parties time to prepare for the registration, record keeping, and reporting requirements of the law.
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