EPA boosts proposed 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2). The proposal, announced Feb. 1, will be open for a 45-day public comment period. 

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) 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.The proposed 2013 overall volumes and standards are: 

• Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.12%). Volume in 2012 RFS was 1.0 billion gallons.

• Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.60%). Volume in 2012 RFS was 2.0 billion gallons.

• Cellulosic biofuels (14 million gallons; 0.008%). Volume in 2012 RFS was 8.65 billion gallons.

• Total renewable fuels (16.55 billion gallons; 9.63%). Volume in 2012 RFS was 15.2 billion gallons.

Overall, EPA’s RFS2 program encourages greater use of renewable fuels, including advanced biofuels. 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.

More information on the standards and regulations: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm


USDA presentation

USDA undersecretary for rural development, Dallas Tonsager, discussed the Obama Administration’s energy strategy at the 7th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show, Jan. 30, in Des Moines.

Renewable fuels play and important role in President Obama’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, which is designed to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil, he said. Tonsanger said the United States cut net oil imports by 10%, or one million barrels a day, in 2012.

As domestic oil production expands, the U.S. will need to blend it with domestically produced biofuels, whether cellulosic ethanol or drop in, biodiesel or aviation.

The Renewable Fuel Standard, with a goal to use at least 36 billion gallons of bio-based transportation fuels by 2022, lays the foundation for reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation’s renewable fuels sector, he said. In the last four years, USDA Rural Development assisted 6,600 renewable energy projects and 25,000 rural businesses in their efforts to build a broad economy.