The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, the action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.
The final volumes represent continued growth over historic levels. The final standards meet or exceed the volume targets specified by Congress for total renewable fuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel. Total renewable fuel volumes grow 6% (1.2 billion gallons) from 2016 to 2017 to 19.28 billion gallons.
Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel increases in 2017, meeting the 15 billion-gallon congressional target for conventional fuels.
The standard for biomass-based biodiesel—which must achieve at least 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to petroleum-based diesel—grows by 100 million gallons. The required volume of biomass-based diesel for 2017 is twice that of the minimum congressional target.
Cellulosic biofuel—which must achieve at least 60% lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions—grows 35% over the 2016 standard to 311 million gallons.
The advanced biofuel standard—comprising biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuel that achieves at least 50% lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions—increases 19% over the 2016 standard to 4.28 billion gallons.
|Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements for 2014-2018|
|Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)||33||123||230||311||n/a|
|Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)||1.63||1.73||1.9||2.0||2.1|
|Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)||2.67||2.88||3.61||4.28||n/a|
|Renewable fuel (billion gallons)||16.28||16.93||18.11||19.28||n/a|
The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set annual RFS volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. EPA is using the tools provided by Congress to adjust the standards below the statutory targets, but the steadily increasing volumes in the final rule continue to support Congress’s intent to grow the volumes. EPA implements the RFS program in consultation with the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Energy.