A Nebraska Congressman is pleased the Environmental Protection Agency has decided against changing the Renewable Fuel Standard. Now, he wants the country to remove an obstacle to further ethanol use.
The EPA had considered lowering the ethanol target for next year from 15 billion gallons, but ultimately decided to leave the RFS alone.
Congressman Adrian Smith says the move helps the ethanol industry, but he adds more can be done.
“I’m continuing to work on a bill that I introduced some time ago that would allow, not mandate, but allow the sale of E-15 on a year-round basis,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Right now, it’s effectively banned during the summer months.”
Smith says the country needs to embrace an all-of-the-above energy approach.
“To where we know that bio-fuels, more specifically ethanol, has been offered to consumers and lower prices have resulted, but even more than that, more choices,” according to Smith.
The Nebraska Corn Board also is pushing to increase the use of E-15. The vast majority of ethanol blended fuel is E-10, or 10% ethanol mixed with the gasoline. Newer vehicles are designed to handle a higher percentage of ethanol. Yet, the EPA restricts E-15 to winter months.
The EPA set the conventional renewable fuel standard (ethanol) at 15 billion gallons for next year. The standard for biodiesel has been set at 100 million gallons. The EPA increased the standard for cellulosic biofuel by 35% and the advanced biofuel standard by 19%. In total, renewable fuel volumes will increase by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016, a 6% increase.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]