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Rounds Statement on EPA’s RVO Proposal for 2019

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today made the following statement on the EPA’s Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) proposed rule for 2019:

“While I am pleased the EPA has proposed an increase in the RVO for 2019, until the agency answers how it intends to assure the 15 billion gallons in grain ethanol is met in light of reports of ‘hardship’ waivers being granted to small refineries, this is not something we can rely on. The ‘hardship’ waivers reportedly being granted exempt certain refineries from Renewable Fuel Standard compliance. These waivers have the potential to reduce domestic ethanol demand by billions of gallons, hurting South Dakota farmers and our state’s largest industry.

“I wrote to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt earlier this year seeking more information on these reports, including how the EPA intends to make certain that despite these waivers, the demand for corn ethanol remains at 15 billion gallons annually. Making certain the EPA follows through on their obligation to corn and corn ethanol production remains a top priority.”

The EPA’s 2019 RVO proposal would increase the total RVO by 3.1 percent over last year’s final rule, or 19.88 billion gallons. Conventional grain ethanol would remain the same, at 15 billion gallons.