The EPA on Friday released the long-delayed proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program that would reduce the levels of biofuels blended into conventional fuel but still require small increases over the next few years.
The EPA is proposing to establish 2014 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel use in that year.
The proposed 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel — those fuels with the lowest GHG emissions profile — is more than 170 million gallons higher than the actual 2014 volumes. That’s six times higher than actual 2014 volumes.
The proposed 2016 standard for total renewable fuel is nearly 1.5 billion gallons more, or about 9 percent higher, than the actual 2014 volumes.
The proposed 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is more than 700 million gallons — 27 percent — higher than the actual 2014 volumes.
Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 1.9 billion gallons by 2017. That’s 17 percent higher than the actual 2014 volumes.
The oil industry, which has pressured the agency to lower the ethanol blend mandate or ditch the standard, said it supports the EPA’s decision to reduce the renewable volume obligations but believes the agency has overestimated how much ethanol consumers will purchase and the fuel supply can handle.
“EPA’s proposal is overly ambitious, misses the mark and clearly demonstrates why Congress must act to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers president Chet Thompson. “In acknowledging that the proposal seeks to force more ethanol use than the marketplace can handle, EPA is playing Russian Roulette with fuel supply and consumers. Corn ethanol’s gain would come at the expense of consumers and the environment.”