Climate Bill Gives Biodiesel RFS Break

John Davis

uscapitolA couple of issues might be coming to a head with one bill. As I told you back on May 22, biodiesel producers are none too pleased about an EPA proposal that would, in effect, exempt soy-based biodiesel from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)… putting biodiesel in danger of not being able to meet that standard, possibly undermining confidence in the green fuel.

But, as Biodiesel Magazine reports, with the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009… aka the Climate Bill… in the U.S. House, soy-based biodiesel might be back in:

Among the provisions of a deal struck among the House leadership, biodiesel gets grandfathered in to the1 billion carve-out for biomass-based diesel without a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target, similar to the grandfather provision for ethanol. Biodiesel production from all plants in production or under construction in December, 2007, when the 2007 Energy Bill was enacted, is grandfathered into the RFS at 1 billion gallons or the EPA-set volume, whichever is higher.

The bill’s language also delays the use of international indirect land use change impacts in determining a fuel’s GHG emission profile for the RFS for several years while an independent scientific assessment is done. Six months after enactment, the bill says the USDA and EPA would jointly institute a three-year National Academy of Sciences study to determine whether or not it is scientifically valid to incorporate indirect international emissions. Upon completion, the Secretary of Agriculture and the EPA administrator would jointly determine whether to include indirect emissions in the GHG reduction targets for the RFS program, subject to public notice and comment. Congress would have one year to act on the joint USDA/EPA determination. The earliest an international indirect land use assessment for GHG emissions could be incorporated would be six years from enactment.

Now we’ll have to keep an eye on what happens in the Senate.

Biodiesel, Government, Indirect Land Use