EPA Finalizes 2017 Volume Requirements for Ethanol

1ethanolLast week, the EPA quietly published the 2017 volume requirements and associated percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program passed into law by Congress several years ago. The law requires oil companies to blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels like ethanol with gasoline and diesel. Under the law, the EPA has the authority to designate volume requirements,which according to the 2007 law passed by Congress must reach 36 billion gallons by the year 2022. However, the law does provide the EPA with some authority to lower the annual volumes as circumstances warrant.

The 2017 requirements were published just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. Every year, the EPA adjusts the amount of renewable fuel it requires oil refiners to pump into the nation’s gas supply. After initially signaling lower renewable fuel goals, the agency reversed course. According to the EPA Press Release, total renewable fuel volumes grew by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 percent increase. Ethanol enthusiasts were quick to praise the EPA. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from the corn-producing state of Iowa, released a statement saying this:

”I am pleased the EPA has finally listened to the American people as well as the comments my colleagues and I have pushed forward, and set the final volume requirements for conventional biofuels for 2017 at appropriate and congressionally approved levels. The RFS is critical in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and provides consumers with choices at the pump. Most importantly, it spurs investment and research in renewable fuels and supports our rural economy in Iowa.”

2ethanol-problemsCritics of the RFS program were not shy to voice their opinion on the EPA announcement. The American Petroleum Institute called the increase “irresponsible” and a bad deal for the American consumer and again called for repeal or significant reform. The American Petroleum Institute represents the oil and natural gas industry in Washington,DC.

The U.S. Congressional Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over the issue released a statement signed by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TX), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL). The statement indicated that they still believed the “right balance” needed to found on the issue of ethanol, but they praised EPA for meeting its statutory deadlines set forth in the 2007 law and vowed to continue to monitor the issue going forward.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)and other consumers of small-engine motors continue to have concerns about the effects of higher blends of ethanol in gasoline and the potential to cause severe damage to their bikes. The MRF is working with stakeholders on both sides of the ethanol debate to negotiate common sense alternatives that would allow the RFS program to continue while keeping in mind the interests of the American street biker.

24 Responses to “EPA Finalizes 2017 Volume Requirements for Ethanol”

  1. 1 David King Dec 6th, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I’ve spoken with all of my “representatives.” Our concerns typically fall on deaf ears… This came the day I learned of the 2017 volume increased requirements.

    November 28, 2016

    Mr. David King

    Dear Mr. King:

    Thank you for contacting me about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). I appreciate hearing from you.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the Renewable Fuel Standards set under by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). EPA published its final rule establishing renewable fuel standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 on December 14, 2015. The standard for 2015 requires refineries to blend 16.9 billion gallons of renewable fuel into the US fuel supply. The standards for 2016 require blending 18.11 billion gallons for 2016.

    The RFS program was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to support the production and use of biofuels in the United States. The program established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States.

    Known as RFS2, the expanded version of this program increases the mandated usage volumes of renewable fuels to 36 billion gallons by 2022 and extends the time frame over which the volumes are to increase. RFS2 also subdivides the renewable fuel requirement into four categories including total renewable fuels, advanced biofuels, biomass-based diesel, and cellulosic ethanol.

    I will keep your views in mind as the Renewable Fuel Standard is discussed in the Senate.

    Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.


    Richard J. Durbin
    United States Senator


  2. 2 KIrk Perry Dec 6th, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Can you dummy-this down some?

  3. 3 Boots Dec 6th, 2016 at 9:46 am

    The only thing that scares me about this story is the statement “I am pleased the EPA has finally listened to the American people”
    The government (EPA) never listens to the public! I hope i’m wrong in this case!!

  4. 4 blu dog Dec 6th, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I am an avid supporter of the mission of the EPA but the use of ethanol has yet to be established as a means of environmental protection. The only interests that keep this debacle rolling along are the very powerful ag interests who reap tremendous profits from the use of ethanol as fuel and the politicians they prop up. This will be a bellwether issue on President-elect Trump’s commitment to the people or to the lobbyists.

  5. 5 smithncustom Dec 6th, 2016 at 11:25 am

    FUCK the EPA.

  6. 6 marcus Dec 6th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Not the EPA’s fault on this one. Federal law requires them to set the biofuel integration standards with a statutory mandate of reaching 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022. We are at about 20 billion now. So that is an additional 16 billion gallons over the next seven years. There is some wiggle room which the EPA has used to keep the ethanol levels much lower than they could be. The news release is a little sketchy as it includes all bio fuels, not just those mixed with gasoline. The end result is that there will be about 10.7% ethanol in the entire fuel supply. We simply are not using enough gas to absorb all this ethanol at a 10% mix.

    The only way to stop this is an act of congress.

  7. 7 richards Dec 6th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Smithcustom…The EPA has accomplished MUCH in the last 40 years. If it was not for the EPA we would be walking around this country wearing Gas Masks and our waters would be so polluted that would make them undrinkable. We may have reasons to object to Ethanol regulations but ignoring their accomplishments protecting the environment for Americans must be recognized. We all owe the EPA our thanks for protecting us. Just “google” “EPA ACCOMPLISHMENTS” if interested in actual facts.

  8. 8 Woody's Dec 6th, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Just Googled “Fuck the EPA” and a picture Sen. Durbin came up. Seriously, since ethanol makes pollution worse when you look at total energy used to produce it along with reduced mileage in vehicles, the EPA isn’t doing it’s job when it turns a blind eye to the ethanol boondoggle. A pox on both their houses.

  9. 9 BadMonkeyMW Dec 6th, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Bought and paid for clowns. Ethanol has no long term benefit either to the environment or the internal combustion engine using public. The American people didn’t press for any of this, big agriculture did and they’re getting filthy rich from it.

  10. 10 richards Dec 6th, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Google… ethanol, myths and facts by the department of energy.

  11. 11 Roberto Dec 6th, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    http://www.epaabuse.com. They’re clueless!

  12. 12 domino Dec 7th, 2016 at 6:36 am

    On my ’84 ski boat I rebuilt my carbs and replaced the fuel lines … The insides of the fuel lines had turned to jelly… I know there are those that would be happy to kill my 2stroke outboard… I like the newer, clean technology… I wish that myself and my old school machines were allowed to die in peace. Ethanol does not help our environment.

    ……………. Domino Dave ……………………….

    p.s. I will be rebuilding my CV carb in the spring … Again!!

  13. 13 Jim Tom Dec 7th, 2016 at 8:03 am

    “Smithcustom…The EPA has accomplished MUCH in the last 40 years. If it was not for the EPA we would be walking around this country wearing Gas Masks and our waters would be so polluted that would make them undrinkable. We may have reasons to object to Ethanol regulations but ignoring their accomplishments protecting the environment for Americans must be recognized. We all owe the EPA our thanks for protecting us. Just “google” “EPA ACCOMPLISHMENTS” if interested in actual facts.”

    What a load of crap! But this is exactly what they want the sheep to believe.

  14. 14 Shanedrive Dec 7th, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Ethanol in diesel? Didn’t know about this one…………….must do research further to see how common it is-if at all or if it’s coming in the future. Quite frankly, after paying 6k-plus to have my truck’s engine “studded” due to a blown head gasket, I’m not too keen on my government f’ing up my investment in my truck. I’m sure they’d be more than willing to reimburse me in the event of a fuel related failure……….(Sarcasm)

  15. 15 Rick D Dec 7th, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Good for the farmers and politicians.
    Bad for everyone with a power sports vehicle or a gas powered lawnmower.

    Clueless is not a big enough word.

  16. 16 Chief Waldo Dec 7th, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The bottom line is, the EPA is going to follow the law and increase the amount of Ethanol in our fuel supply until Congress drastically alters, or repeals the Renewable Fuel Standards act.
    Something it is unlikely they will do.
    Don’t blame the EPA.
    Blame Congress.

  17. 17 richards Dec 7th, 2016 at 11:18 am

    jim tom…Sorry to confuse you with facts!

  18. 18 SmooveD Dec 7th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Build a bridge and get over it.

  19. 19 Axzl Dec 7th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    The Republicans didn’t pass the law mandating ethanol use to help farmers. They passed it to help the Koch Bros, who spend billions bribing Republican legislators like Ernst- whose only qualification for the US Senate is that she used to castrate hogs on the family farm when she was a kid! And her family farm is going broke with $3 corn which meanwhile makes the Koch’s ethanol plants immensely profitable!

  20. 20 Chris Dec 7th, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Once self driving cars become a majority we will be forced off the roads anyway,
    these vehicles containing people texting and facebooking and whatever else they normally now try to do anyway.
    The car of the future, that is already here probably won’t be able to recognise a motorcycle.
    We will become even more of a minority and legislated out of existence.
    Pray I’m wrong…

  21. 21 J Dec 7th, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Joni Ernst- moron.

  22. 22 Roberto Dec 7th, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    If you want to protect your sport,avocation,hobby or whatever you call it,you need someone in your corner. I halppen to belong to the ama and mrff and they do a pretty good job. If we had the amount of membership that the nra has, we might have a shot.Like the old fram commercials…….Pay me now or pay me later.

  23. 23 Eric Dec 13th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Do they even have a clue what it takes to produce a gallon of Ethanol? Cali does this to help meet CARB standards for vehicle emissions and it works ok at 10%, going to 15% will create major issues with fuel systems in bikes and older vehicles. EPA will see some changes, hopefully, when the new administration takes over, they need to be revamped and neutered, way to much power.

  24. 24 nicker Dec 13th, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    A perfectly good running 1924 FL had its varnish-sealed float dissolved by CA gas. So i installed a new high- tech foam float… It doesn’t fit well causing the float to stick close. The end result us a perfectly useless 1924 FL thanks a bunch CARB (you worthless POS)… 🙁


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Cyril Huze