The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency's Renewable Fuel Standard program.
The proposal 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.
The proposed 2013 overall volumes and standards are:
-Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.12%)
-Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.60%)
-Cellulosic biofuels (14 million gallons; 0.008%)
-Total renewable fuels (16.55 billion gallons; 9.63%)
EPA continues to support the use of renewable fuels within the transportation sector through the RFS2 program, which encourages innovation, strengthens American energy security, and decreases greenhouse gas pollution.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established the RFS2 program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.
For 2013, the program is proposing to implement EISA's requirement to blend more than 1.35 billion gallons of renewable fuels over the amount mandated for 2012.
The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the EPA proposal in a statement Thursday, noting that the industry was prepared to meet EPA requirements.
"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% of required production to date," Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs, said. "The industry is adding new feedstocks and building capacity every year, and this policy will only help us continue that growth."
Additionally, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said his organization would be reviewing the announcement in its entirety, but for now, they were pleased.
The proposed biofuel volumes "were long overdue and we are encouraged that it is a proposed rule with the opportunity for public comment," Buis said. "There are a number of issues that should be considered, which could have serious impacts on the U.S. production of biofuels."