The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced final volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017. This rule finalizes higher volumes of renewable fuel than the levels EPA proposed in June, boosting renewable production and providing support for robust, achievable growth of the biofuels industry.
“The biofuel industry is an incredible American success story, and the RFS program has been an important driver of that success—cutting carbon pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and sparking rural economic development,” says Janet McCabe, the Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “With today’s final rule, and as Congress intended, EPA is establishing volumes that go beyond historic levels and grow the amount of biofuel in the market over time. Our standards provide for ambitious, achievable growth.”
The final RFS is an important part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to take action on climate change by propelling the U.S. toward a clean energy future. With final standards in place for the year ahead, biofuel producers and blenders are in a better position to plan and invest – putting the market on stable ground and supporting further growth and innovation in the renewable fuels industry.
The final 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel — the fuel with the lowest carbon emissions — is nearly 200 million gallons, or seven times more, than the market produced in 2014. The final 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1 billion gallons, or 35%, higher than the actual 2014 volumes; the total renewable standard requires growth from 2014 to 2016 of more than 1.8 billion gallons of biofuel, which is 11% higher than 2014 actual volumes. Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 2 billion gallons by 2017.
The RFS, established by Congress, requires EPA to set annual volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. The final rule considered more than 670,000 public comments, and relied on the latest, most accurate data available. EPA finalized 2014 and 2015 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel used in those years, and standards for 2016 (and 2017 for biodiesel) that represent significant growth over historical levels.