Bill aims to make corn ethanol ineligible for meeting RFS RVOs

By Erin Voegele | July 20, 2021

Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on July 20 introduced legislation that aims to make corn ethanol ineligible to meet the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The bill, titled the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act, would not impact statutory volume requirements for advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel or biomass-based diesel.

Currently, the RFS includes four nested volume requirements, including those for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, biomass-based diesel, and total renewable fuel. For 2022, the statutory requirement for total biofuel would be 36 billion gallons. At least 21 billion gallons of that volume would have to be met with cellulosic, advanced or biomass-based diesel fuels. The remaining 15 billion gallons could be met with conventional biofuels, such as corn ethanol.   

The newly introduced legislation would keep the statutory volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel in place, while eliminating the volume requirement for other biofuels that don’t meet the definition of cellulosic, advanced or biomass-based diesel fuels. For 2022, the statutory requirement would be set at 21 billion gallons, including 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel and at least 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel. The balance of the blend obligation could be met with advanced biofuel. As a result, corn ethanol would no longer qualify for compliance with RFS blending requirements.

Additional information, including as full copy of the bill, is available on Toomey’s website