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Federal Ethanol Issues



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports the long-term implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS program was created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 and established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. As required under EPAct, the original RFS program (RFS1) required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012.


Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS program was expanded in several key ways:


EISA expanded the RFS program to include diesel, in addition to gasoline. EISA increased the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

  • EISA established new categories of renewable fuel and set separate volume requirements for each one.

  • EISA required EPA to apply lifecycle greenhouse gas performance threshold standards to ensure each category of renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum fuel it replaces.


RFS2 lays the foundation for achieving significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of renewable fuels, reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation's renewable fuels sector.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports the inclusion of corn starch feedstocks in the definition of advanced biofuel. In order to encourage energy efficiency and ensure biofuels made in America can achieve the mandated levels of RFS2, it is proposed that legislation be amended to lift the exclusion of corn starch feedstocks from the definition of advanced biofuels.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports the expansion of E15 in the marketplace.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports:

  • A comprehensive national infrastructure development plan, which would create fair market access for ethanol. This could be accomplished through the build-out of blender pumps, tanks and piping on a retail level nationwide; and identification of additional infrastructure needs (blending, transport and distribution) to accomplish the Renewable Fuels Standard.

  • A flexible fuel vehicle mandate that would require 100 percent of all vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States to be flexible fuel. This will allow consumers to choose higher-level blends.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry encourages the rejection of the indirect land-use change (ILUC) theory by EPA. The ILUC theory uses speculative models and incorrect assumptions in an attempt to blame American farmers for deforestation in Brazil. The debate is focused on whether or not the carbon intensity of fuels like ethanol can or should include a penalty for theoretical, indirect economic effects. There is still no scientific consensus on ILUC, and the theory is not ready for regulatory usage. The North Dakota ethanol industry does not support ILUC in any legislation. It does support the adoption of a low carbon fuel standard that treats all fuels equally. The inclusion of an ILUC penalty against ethanol is not based on universally accepted science and puts our industry at an unfair disadvantage.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports and encourages the continuation of the Small Producer Ethanol Tax Credit. This credit is extremely important to the foundation of our industry.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports long-term commitment to the import tariff to ensure we are not subsidizing imported ethanol which would be counter intuitive to reducing our dependence on foreign energy.



North Dakota’s ethanol industry supports a regulatory climate that is favorable to capital investment in ethanol transport infrastructure, such as pipelines.

Ethanol Issue Infographics 

Information provided by Renewable Fuels Association 

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