WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Rich Felts, president of the Kansas Farm Bureau; and Tom Willis, National Sorghum Producers board director and CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners in Liberal, Kansas, applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final notice approving a variety of pathways for renewable fuel derived from sorghum, including biodiesel as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
“Kansas farmers are hurting – low commodity prices and falling farm revenue have made it increasingly difficult for producers to make ends meet,” said Sen. Moran. “Approving the pathway is long past due, and I applaud Administrator Wheeler for acting quickly to finalize the pathway after assuming leadership of the agency. It is critical for EPA to recognize the challenges faced by farmers and ranchers and to make certain it pursues biofuel policies that will benefit rural America.”
“Kansas produces more sorghum than any other state in the nation,” said Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts. “The opportunity to add value to those bushels is critical to our farmers and could not be more timely as we seek any and all methods to balance the books in a tough agricultural climate.”
“This pathway for sorghum oil reaches far beyond the farmer,” said National Sorghum Producers Board Director and CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners in Liberal, Kansas Tom Willis. “This is an avenue for creating jobs in rural America we so desperately need, and it helps provide energy security from a renewable water-conserving source.”
The newly-approved pathways include biodiesel, jet fuel, heating oil and liquified petroleum gas produced from sorghum oil, a by-product of ethanol produced from using grain sorghum as a primary feedstock. These pathways meet the greenhouse gas emissions reductions requirements to qualify to generate credits or Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels under the RFS program.
This new feedstock is estimated to produce around 21 million gallons, providing flexibility in meeting volume standards of the RFS program. It also adds diversity to the biofuel mix in the country.
The RFS program was created by Congress as a national policy to increase volumes of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the consumption of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil, or jet fuel. EPA implements the program in consultation with U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Items to Note:
- In March 2017, Sen. Moran led a letter to EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality Director Christopher Grundler requesting that the EPA move expeditiously to approve this pathway.
- In January, Sen. Moran raised the issue of this pathway with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing.
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