Biodiesel industry pleased with '13 advanced biofuel RVO proposal

By Ron Kotrba | January 31, 2013

After prolonged delay, U.S. EPA has finally issued proposed 2013 renewable volume obligations under the renewable fuel standard for advanced and cellulosic biofuels. EPA had already finalized the 2013 biomass-based diesel RVO at 1.28 billion gallons last fall. The advanced biofuels RVO proposal is 2.75 billion gallons, and the cellulosic biofuel proposal is 14 million gallons.

The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the proposed advanced biofuel targets. “We want to thank the EPA and the entire Obama administration for standing strong behind these important standards for advanced biofuels,” said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. “The U.S. biodiesel industry is poised and ready to help meet these requirements, and that will mean reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a better economy and more domestic fuel choices for consumers. With plants across the country and more than a billion gallons of production last year, the U.S. biodiesel industry is already the leading producer of advanced biofuels in the country, accounting for more than 80 percent of required production to date. The industry is adding new feedstocks and building capacity every year, and this policy will only help us continue that growth.”

Biodiesel is the first and only domestic fuel produced on a commercial scale nationwide to meet the EPA’s standards as an advanced biofuel, meaning it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent compared with petroleum diesel. According to the EPA, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent, depending on the feedstock used to produce it. The industry has exceeded the RFS production requirements for two consecutive years, and in 2012 it produced nearly 1.1 billion gallons of fuel, with plants in nearly every state in the country supporting more than 64,000 jobs.

Under the RFS, the biomass-based diesel requirement is a subset of the overall advanced biofuel requirement. For 2013, the EPA’s proposal calls for an overall advanced biofuel requirement of 2.75 billion gallons. Within that total, the biomass-based diesel requirement is already finalized at 1.28 billion gallons. Refiners have the option of using biodiesel or other EPA-designated advanced biofuels to help fill the remaining overall advanced biofuel pool, and many experts are predicting that biodiesel will play an increasing role in doing so this year.

The RVO proposals announced Jan. 31 will be open for a 45-day public comment period and EPA will consider feedback from a range of stakeholders before the proposal is finalized.


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