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by Darren Fraser The biofuel industry is appealing the public to make its voice heard regarding the EPA’s practice of granting waivers to oil companies. Daron Wilson, general manager of POET, in an email to Deb Hite, Director of Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce, explained that while he is encouraged by “the EPA’s decision to blend 15 billion gallons of starch-based ethanol, or corn ethanol, this number will ultimately be significantly lower if the EPA Administrator continues to issue waivers...” Scott Pruitt, the embattled former head of the EPA, resigned resigned on July 5. His successor, Andrew Wheeler, by all indications, will continue Pruitt’s agenda, which means more waivers and less demand for biofuels. In his email, Wilson writes the waivers granted to oil companies have resulted in “1.6 billion gallons of demand destruction. That translates to more than 500 million bushels of destroyed corn demand.” Wilson encourages the public to contact the EPA in writing to express its support for biofuels. According to the EPA’s “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020,” the 2019 proposed volumes (in million gallons) for cellulosic biofuel is 381. For biomass-based diesel, the 2019 proposed volume is 2.1 (billion gallons). The 2019 proposed volume for advanced biofuel is 4.88 (billion gallons). The EPA is accepting comments from the public on its 2019 standard. Comments must be received by August 17.


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