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EPA Approves sorghum oil pathway
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EPA Approves sorghum oil pathway

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WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday approved sorghum oil as an eligible feed stock under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

EPA approval came as National Sorghum Producers leadership and Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), along with Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) convened at EPA headquarters in Washington.

“This is a great day for U.S. sorghum farmers and our partners in the ethanol and biodiesel industries,” said NSP Chairman Don Bloss, a sorghum farmer from Pawnee City. “NSP has worked tirelessly for over two years to make this happen. A pathway for sorghum oil opens new markets for ethanol plants extracting oil from sorghum and ultimately adds value to the grain farmers produce.”

The approval marks a significant step toward leveling the playing field for ethanol plants extracting oil from sorghum. 

In December 2017, the EPA released a notice of proposed rule making concerning renewable fuels produced from sorghum oil. The EPA’s analysis showed biodiesel produced from sorghum oil has greenhouse gas emissions savings of 82 percent. This will give ethanol plants extracting oil from sorghum access to sell to the biodiesel market.

“This pathway for sorghum oil reaches far beyond the farmer,” said Tom Willis, NSP board director and CEO of Conestoga Energy. “This is an avenue for creating jobs in rural America we so desperately need, and it helps provide energy security from a renewable, water-conserving source.”

In addition to the nine ethanol producers already extracting oil from sorghum, several other facilities will now be able to purchase and use sorghum. 

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