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HomeAg NewsRFA鈥檚 Cooper Calls 2024 Pivotal Year for Ethanol Industry, Vilsack Reassures on...

RFA鈥檚 Cooper Calls 2024 Pivotal Year for Ethanol Industry, Vilsack Reassures on GREET

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper told the group鈥檚 annual National Ethanol Conference in San Diego this week, 2024 will be 鈥渙ne of the most pivotal years鈥 ever for the industry.

Cooper says policy decisions in the next three to six-months on sustainable aviation fuel tax credits, year-round E15 and light-duty vehicle tailpipe standards will shape ethanol鈥檚 future for possibly decades to come.

On the still being modified GREET model expected March 1st for figuring SAF鈥檚 carbon footprint and eligibility for must-have tax credits, Cooper said 鈥淭he modified GREET model will either help open the door for U.S. agriculture and ethanol producers to participate in the SAF market, or it will lock out the highest volume, lowest-cost feedstocks and assure the failure of this administration鈥檚 ambitious SAF goals.鈥

But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered reassurance, saying 鈥淲e are working hard to make sure that, as we create these incentives, that they include room for 鈥榗limate smart鈥 agricultural practices, which is going to make it easier for that which we grow and raise on our farms to be used as feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel. We鈥檙e working hard to make that happen and I鈥檓 confident that it will happen.鈥

Cooper, meantime, urged EPA to reconsider its pro-electric vehicle pending tailpipe rule and instead take a technology neutral approach. He lamented, EVs will erode ethanol demand鈥450 million gallons for every one million new EVs sold. Thus, the importance of EPA finalizing its long-overdue year-round E15 rule.

Cooper said, 鈥淣ot only does E15 slash harmful tailpipe pollution, reduce carbon emissions and lower pump prices, but it gives ethanol a chance for modest growth, in an otherwise declining gasoline market. It helps us hold the line on demand, as other new markets like aviation, maritime and heavy-duty are emerging.鈥

Just months before the next summer driving season, Cooper says there are new rumors EPA might issue a final rule as planned by late March but not implement it until 2025.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and (Berns Bureau Washington/by Matt Kaye)

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