The federal Renewable Fuel Standard sets yearly goals for how much renewable fuel must go into petroleum-based transportation fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the fuel standard and — with consultation from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy — adjusts those goals to more accurately match domestic supply and prevent economic harm.
In November, the EPA announced that it is increasing its proposed 2017 ethanol targets from 14.8 billion gallons to 15 billion gallons, the statutory maximum allowed under the RFS.
“This is critical for farmers facing difficult economic times, as well as for consumers who care about clean, affordable fuel choices, and lowering our dependence on foreign oil,” said Wesley Spurlock, president of the National Corn Growers Association, in a statement.
The University of Illinois’ farmdoc daily examined domestic consumption of conventional ethanol compared to statutory mandates in a new report published Wednesday.
According to farmdoc daily projections, domestic consumption of conventional ethanol is expected to reach about 14.41 billion gallons in 2017, roughly 590 million gallons less what is called for by the EPA.
Using conservative figures, long-term projections from farmdoc daily found that domestic ethanol consumption will continue to increase in coming years, but likely still fall short of federal requirements through 2022.
However, more optimistic figures suggest domestic consumption of conventional ethanol could reach targets much sooner, farmdoc daily found.