The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard program for 2018, and biomass-based diesel for 2019.
The agency set a total renewable fuel blending obligation of 19.29 billion gallons next year, maintaining the statutory requirement of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel such as corn-based ethanol and 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuel, including 288 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, a slight increase from earlier proposals. The 2019 biodiesel amount is set for 2.1 billion gallons. American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says, “ACE members are very pleased” that EPA set the RVO for ethanol at the statutory level of 15-billion gallons, as other industry groups applauded the announcement.
However, the National Biodiesel Board noted that the EPA recommended only 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, a reduction and a flatline, respectively, from last year. Doug Whitehead of the National Biodiesel Board says: “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth.”