On Tuesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts asked the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of biomass-based biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol in its final biofuels rule. The Renewable Fuel Standard proposed by the EPA in early July would keep conventional ethanol at the statutory maximum of 15 billion gallons next year, drop the level of cellulosic biofuel 73 million gallons to 238 million gallons in 2018 and maintain the biomass-based diesel standard for 2019 at the 2018 levels of 2.1 billion gallons. The two Republican governors were joined in support from Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).
They told a panel of EPA staff that companies had the capacity to produce far more than the 2.1 billion gallons the agency proposed. The group also asked EPA to increase cellulosic volumes, which EPA proposed to reduce by 23 percent in 2018. All three praised the EPA for getting a proposal out approximately on time, a dig at the Obama administration, which missed deadlines so badly it set requirements for 2014 and 2015 in conjunction with a rule for 2016. They were also pleased that the agency kept conventional biofuels, typically filled by corn-based ethanol, at the maximum level.