EPA's 2017 RFS Proposals Match Expectations

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:23 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed that 18.8 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used in 2017 as part of its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This represents a 4% rise from this year's 18.11 billion gallon requirement and aligns with our expectations. That total includes 14.8 billion gallons of ethanol, a 300-million-gallon increase from 2016 levels. This is below the statutory level of 15 billion gallons.

Following is a table detailing the proposed volume requirements.

 
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)
33
123
230
312
NA
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)
1.63
1.73
1.90
2.0*
2.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)
2.67
2.88
3.61
4.0
NA
Renewable fuel (billion gallons)
16.28
16.93
18.11
18.80
NA

* The 2017 BBD volume requirement was established in the 2014-2016 final rule. EPA is not reproposing or inviting comment on this volume requirement.

Of note, EPA explains that its "decision to propose volumes for total renewable fuel that rely on using both the cellulosic waiver authority and the general waiver authority is based on the same fundamental
reasoning we relied upon in the final rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for
2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017.”

EPA continues to explain that despite significant increases in renewable fuel use in the U.S., "real-world constraints such as the slower-than-expected development of the cellulosic biofuel industry and constraints
in the marketplace needed to supply certain biofuels to consumers, have made the timeline laid out by Congress impossible to achieve."

Further, EPA notes that Congress recognized supply challenges may exist, but "it did not intend growth int the renewable fuels market to be stopped by those challenges, including those associated with the 'E10 blendwall.'"

The proposal will be published in the Federal Register soon, and comments on the standards must be received on or before July 11, 2016.

Click here for a link to the proposal.

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