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EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements
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On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed increase of the renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for all biofuels in 2017 and biomass-based diesel in 2018. While both the renewable fuel volume requirements and the proposed percentage standards are increases from previous years, the volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advance biofuel, and renewable fuel still fall short of the volumes proposed for 2017 under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act. The proposed volume requirements are:

  • Cellulosic biofuel, from 230 million gallons in 2016 to 312 million gallons in 2017;
     
  • Advanced biofuel, from 3.61 billion gallons in 2016 to 4 billion gallons in 2017;
     
  • Renewable fuel, from 18.11 billion gallons in 2016 to 18.8 billion gallons in 2017; and
     
  • Biomass-based diesel, from 2 billion gallons in 2017 to 2.1 billion gallons in 2018.

These volumes would change the percentage standards to 0.173 percent for cellulosic biofuel, 2.22 percent for advanced biofuel, 10.44 percent for renewable fuel, and 1.67 percent for biomass-based diesel. A timely passage of the RFS volumes is of great importance to the biofuel industry, as any delays can create uncertainty for investors and harm industry progress. The rule is open for comment through July 11, 2016, and EPA intends to issue the final rule by November 30, 2016. Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0004.