The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the 2018 conventional biofuels requirement at 15 billion gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As race fans head to the Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 300 this Sunday, we are pleased to see the EPA hitting the statutory target for corn ethanol. This comes as good news for Iowa corn farmers who now face tough economic times and for consumers who want affordable, homegrown fuel choices.
The RFS is a federal law that requires domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning ethanol to be blended into the nation's fuel supply. Congress adopted the RFS in 2005 and expanded it in 2007. The program requires oil companies to blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, culminating with 36 billion gallons in 2022. RVOs are set annually by EPA to dictate the amount of renewable fuel blended into our fuel.
The RFS has been one of America's most successful energy policies ever. It has made our air cleaner. It has spurred investment in rural communities and created high-tech jobs. It has given drivers more choices at the gas pump. And it has reduced our dependency on foreign oil. It moves America forward as a leader in clean energy.
In the coming weeks, ICGA will be activating our members to engage during the public comment period and make their voices heard to keep the RFS on track. Farmers, and everyone who supports farmers should take this opportunity to tell EPA to keep the RVO at the statutory level. The EPA will be issuing the final rule in the fall.
Iowa Corn will continue to work to grow the renewable fuel market by improving the infrastructure for higher ethanol blends (E15 and E85) and promoting the use of higher blends with automakers, fuel retailers and consumers to gain more demand for corn-based ethanol. Here in Iowa, consumers already have access to more fuel options at the pump because of the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state's Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. Our state is doing our part to meet the requirements under the RFS and so should the oil companies.