EPA issues proposed 2020 renewable fuel mandate

Conventional biofuels remain at 2019 levels

AMA News Author (no byline)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its 2020 proposal for renewable fuel volume obligations on July 5, recommending that the amount of conventional biofuels, like ethanol, would remain unchanged from 2019 at 15 billion gallons.

Photo by Jeff Kardas

The proposed rule, part of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, sets the levels of ethanol to be blended into the nation's fuel supply next year. It also includes 2021 standards for biomass-based diesel. "We are glad that the EPA is not proposing an increase for 2020 in the ethanol content for our nation's fuel supply," American Motorcyclist Association Vice President of Government Relations Wayne Allard said. "We believe the levels are already too high because higher ethanol fuels, like E15, can harm motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines and fuels systems."

The EPA proposed that total renewable volume obligations would be 20.04 billion gallons in 2020, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019. Advanced biofuels, like those made from agricultural wastes, would increase from 4.92 billion in 2019 to 5.04 billion gallons in 2020.

The AMA also objects to any increase in the amount of ethanol blended into the nation's fuel supply that would result in a decrease in availability of ethanol-free fuel (E0) or fuel containing 10 percent ethanol (E10).

None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. In addition to engine and fuel system damage, using higher ethanol blends can void manufacturers' warranties.

The EPA is responsible for issuing a final rule in November.