Debate continues at latest EPA public hearing over proposed ethanol changes : Biofuels Digest

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In Michigan, the debate between the oil industry and rural farming continued on Friday during the Environmental Protection Agency public hearing to discuss proposed ethanol policy changes including year-round E15, small refinery exemptions, and RIN reform. RFA, Growth Energy, Fueling Jobs Coalition, American Petroleum Institute and several others had lots to say about the proposed changes.

RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper urged the agency to finalize the Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15 proposal ahead of the summer driving season. Cooper said, “We strongly support EPA’s proposal allowing E15 to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months.”

According to Bloomberg, Frank Maisano from Fueling Jobs Coalition, a group of union workers and independent oil refiners, said that the “EPA’s proposed rule raises significant concerns about the legality of year-round sales of E15” and that the proposal to reform trading of Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, “is incomplete, but is nevertheless a step in the right direction in correcting these serious market flaws.”

Frank Macchiarola, vice president downstream and industry operations at the American Petroleum Institute said, the EPA’s proposal on E15 “is an anti-consumer policy that goes beyond EPA’s statutory authority and should be withdrawn,” according to Bloomberg.

Small refinery exemptions or waivers are “moving the Renewable Fuel Standard backwards instead of forwards, which is not at all what the president campaigned about when he was seeking office,” Emily Skor, Growth Energy’s CEO, told Bloomberg in an interview following testimony.

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