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Renewable fuel supporters to rally during EPA RFS hearing

Renewable fuel supporters to rally during EPA RFS hearing
Ethanol supporters to make their way to Kansas City for EPA RFS hearing Thursday

More than 200 people are scheduled to testify Thursday during an EPA hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard proposal in Kansas City, Kan., and even more are expected to share in a "Rally for Rural America" to support the renewable fuel goals in the policy.

The Rally will be held near the event center where the EPA hearing is scheduled to take place. A livestream of the rally, which starts at 11:30 a.m., will be available on the Fuels America Twitter/Periscope page, the group said.

Related: Comment period opens: tell EPA the RFS works

Ethanol supporters to make their way to Kansas City for EPA RFS hearing Thursday (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Along with biofuels supporters, the National Corn Growers Association has been gearing up for the rally and hearing, inviting farmers to sign up to ride to Kansas City Thursday on buses picking up rally -goers at about 13 Midwest locations.

EPA earlier this year proposed the volume requirements and associated percentage standards that would apply under the RFS program in calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.

EPA also proposed the volume requirement for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The hearing itself will begin at 9 a.m. CT and will conclude when all parties present who wish to speak have had an opportunity to do so, EPA said.

Pulling for biodiesel
At the hearing, the National Biodiesel Board said industry leaders plan thank the EPA for increasing volumes in the proposal while calling for further growth in the final rule set to be released in November.

"We appreciate that EPA has improved the numbers and that the volumes increase with time; however, the volumes remain well below what the industry can produce and they are far from an aggressive approach to expanding biodiesel production and thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions," says Bob Morton, co-owner of Newport Biodiesel in Rhode Island, in prepared testimony.

Related: EPA releases 2014-16 RFS volume obligations

"There is little we can do regarding 2014 and 2015, but we can take a more aggressive stance in 2016 and 2017."

Biodiesel falls under the Biomass-based Diesel category of the RFS, which is a subset of the overall Advanced Biofuels category. The EPA proposal, which is slated to be finalized in November, would gradually raise biodiesel volumes by about 100 million gallons per year to a standard of 1.9 billion gallons in 2017.

The overall Advanced Biofuel standard would rise to 3.4 billion ethanol equivalent gallons in 2016.

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