NBB: EPA’s RFS proposal ignores reality and the law

July 6, 2017 / by National Biodiesel Board Categories: Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Soybean News

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal on the advanced-biofuel standard for 2018 and the 2019 volume for biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“This proposal continues to underestimate the ability of the biomass-based diesel industry to meet the volumes of the RFS program. This is a missed opportunity for biodiesel, which reduces costs, provides economic benefits and results in lower prices at the pump. Higher advanced-biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes will support additional jobs and investment in both rural economies and clean-energy-conscious communities.”

“This is only a proposal, and, in the past, the EPA’s final numbers have been higher than those in the proposal. We will continue to work with the EPA and ensure the administration doesn’t turn its back on our domestic energy producers.

“The EPA should be committed to diversifying the diesel fuel market and prioritizing advanced biofuels. Targets like this ignore reality and the law, inhibiting growth in the industry,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

NBB supports increases in the volume requirements, believing the agency must be more aggressive in meeting Congress’s goals to prioritize and move this country toward advanced biofuels. This would create jobs, improve the economy and benefit public health and the environment throughout the country.

Made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, canola oil, distillers corn oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement used in existing diesel engines without modification. Renewable diesel is another alternative to petroleum diesel that is increasingly being produced in the United States. Biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel fall under the biomass-based diesel category of the RFS, which is a subset of the overall advanced biofuels category.

The EPA proposal would maintain the minimum required biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019. The EPA also proposed to set the 2018 RFS for advanced biofuels based on a minimum applicable volume of 4.24 billion gallons, a decrease from 4.28 billion gallons for 2017.

NBB believes EPA should set the advanced-biofuel requirements for 2018 based on a volume of at least 5.25 billion gallons and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2019 at 2.75 billion gallons.

The RFS—a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush—requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel stream. The law is divided into two broad categories: conventional biofuels, which must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent, and advanced biofuels, which must have a 50 percent reduction. Biodiesel is the first advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and has made up the vast majority of advanced biofuel production under the RFS to date.

The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.

Click here to also view the American Soybean Association response.

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