The advanced biofuels industry has come out in support of the EPA’s increased Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) as part of the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Cellulosic Biofuel category will increase from 230 million gallons in 2016 to 311 million gallons in 2017. Renewable fuels in this category must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 percent as compared to traditional fuels. In addition, the Advanced Biofuels category is increasing 19 percent going from 3.61 billion to 4.28 billion. This category encompasses biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuels that achieves at least 50 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
In response to the new rule that increases volumes across all categories, Michael McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association (AFBF) president, stated, “We congratulate EPA on getting the RVO rule out ahead of schedule. Like last year, it sends a clear signal to the market of the federal government’s intention to stand behind the RFS program. We are also happy to see the confidence and support of the biomass-based diesel pool by continuing to recognize the fact it is growing steadily. And, we welcome increases in both the advanced and cellulosic pools. Those are truly the fuels of the future that deliver the most significant contribution to sustainability.”
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section noted that the organization and its members welcome the EPA’s change of course. “By abandoning its legally flawed reliance on general waiver authority as a basis for departing from statutory biofuels volumes requirements, EPA has sent a strong signal that it will support the biofuels industry and grow advanced and cellulosic biofuel production.” Erickson added that “the final 2017 rule adheres to Congress’s intent in enacting the RFS statue and ends several years of instability in the RFS program….
BIO continues to strongly disagree with EPA’s prior interpretation of its general waiver authority under the RFS statute and with EPA’s ongoing stockpiling of carryover RIN credits. The RFS statute does not allow EPA to rely on demand-side factors under the oil industry’s control as a basis for decreasing the fundamental requirement to use as much renewable fuel as the biofuel industry can produce. And the statute does not grant the agency leeway to create a permanent carryover RIN bank.”
Advanced Biofuels Business Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman stated, “Administrator McCarthy and her team deserve a lot of credit. Administrator McCarthy said they would get the RFS back on track and they did. It’s a strong rule across the board and moves the conversation forward. We have moved past the imaginary blend wall. The biofuels industry continues to innovate. The merchant refiners saying they cannot comply with the RFS are now implementing cost-effective changes at their refineries to blend more renewable fuel. President-elect Trump will no doubt hear from a shrinking group of RFS naysayers, but I think he understands that the RFS is working, supports a strong manufacturing base across the country and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. We are looking forward to working with EPA and the next Administration on further accelerating the commercial deployment of advanced biofuels.”