The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for the 2018 rules under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) today and only called for a slight growth in biodiesel volumes. As a result, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is calling on the Obama Administration to strengthen the proposal that only calls for a 100 million gallon increase in 2018. RVO requirements for the advanced biofuels category of the RFS are on a different schedule than other renewable fuel categories, and today the EPA also released its 2017 RVOs for renewable fuels such as ethanol.
NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said that without stronger growth in the final rule, the administration would be missing an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions while helping to reshape America’s transportation sector. “We appreciate the EPA’s timeliness in releasing these volumes and its support for growing biodiesel use under the RFS, but this proposal significantly understates the amount of biodiesel this industry can sustainably deliver to the market. The total RVO for the advanced biofuels category that includes biodiesel is 2.1 billion gallons for 2018.” Steckel added, “We have plenty of feedstock and production capacity to exceed 2.5 billion gallons today, and can certainly do so in 2018.”
Biodiesel – made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats – is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. The EPA proposal would establish a 2.1-billion-gallon Biomass-based Diesel requirement in 2018, up from the 2-billion-gallon requirement for 2017. However, NBB believes EPA can comfortably call for at least 2.5 billion gallons in 2018 after nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel were delivered under the RFS in 2015.
“We have made tremendous progress in cleaning up vehicle emissions but the fact remains that petroleum still accounts for about 90 percent of our transportation fuel,” Steckel continued. “This is dangerous and unsustainable, and the RFS is the most effective policy we have for changing it. Biodiesel specifically is the most successful Advanced Biofuel under the RFS. It is proving that Advanced Biofuels work. But we need meaningful RFS growth to continue making a real dent in our oil dependence and to continue driving investment. On the heels of the Paris climate accord, this is not the time for a piecemeal approach. We need bold action.”
In addition to calling for a higher Biomass-based Diesel volume, NBB is calling for a stronger overall Advanced Biofuel volume.