Chris Hanson: Ethanol numbers from EPA still fall short of full potential

On Nov. 30, the Environmental Protection Agency finally announced the long-awaited Renewable Volume Obligations for 2014, 2015 and 2016. These numbers determine how many gallons of renewable fuel, such as ethanol, will be blended into the fuel supply.

I am pleased that these numbers are a move in the right direction and finally will break the oil industry's self-imposed barrier of 10 percent ethanol use in the U.S.

But this was not a total victory. Although we will be able to move beyond the 10 percent blend wall, these numbers still fall short of what is called for by federal law.

Our industry is poised to offer drivers greater choice in fuel options than have ever been available to Americans since the introduction of the automobile. These published numbers help but could have gone even further. To this end, our company and our community will continue to demonstrate not only to the administration, but to the nation, that ethanol is a vital component to reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil and combating climate change.

I know many Post-Bulletin readers reached out to the EPA to tell personal stories about how the biofuels industry and POET are making a difference in our rural economies, for our national security and for our environment. I have no doubt these comments made a big difference as EPA finalized its decision. In fact, we saw a 700 million gallon increase in the amount of renewable fuel to be blended into the fuel supply in 2016 over the EPA's earlier May proposal.


POET is proud to be a member of this community and appreciates those who joined the company to fight for our way of life. We expect there will be many battles ahead, and we would love to have the continued support.

But for now, we should all be proud of our collective effort to stand up to Big Oil and defend the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Chris Hanson, of Fountain , is general manager of POET Biorefining in Preston.

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