EPA Proposes Modest Increase in RFS Volumes

May 29, 2015 | The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally released its long-awaited proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for all renewable fuels for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and for biomass-based diesel for 2017.

EPA’s proposed volume of 1.63 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel, of which mostly consists of biodiesel, for 2014 is what the agency said was actually produced and used as transportation fuel, heating oil, and jet fuel in the contiguous United States (US) and Hawaii. It is proposing 1.7 billion gallons for 2015, 1.8 billion gallons for 2016, and 1.9 billion gallons for 2017.

In addition, biodiesel qualifies under the advanced biofuel category in the RFS, with proposed volumes of 2.68 billion “ethanol-equivalent” gallons for 2014, 2.9 billion gallons for 2015, and 3.4 billion gallons for 2016. Biodiesel has a higher energy content than ethanol.

“This proposal is a significant step in the right direction,” said National Biodiesel Board Chief Executive Officer Joe Jobe. “It is not perfect, but it will get the U.S. biodiesel industry growing again and put people back to work. I want to thank [EPA] administrator McCarthy and [US Department of Agriculture] Secretary Vilsack for restoring growth to the program and for their commitment to renewable fuels.

“However, more can be done, and we particularly look forward to working with the administration on strengthening biodiesel volumes for 2016 and 2017 during the comment period in the coming weeks,” Jobe added.

Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, comments will be due by July 27, 2015. More on the proposal can be found here.