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2013 Renewable Fuel Standards Proposed by EPA

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The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the 2013 percentage standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard. For total renewable fuels – EPA is proposing 16.55-billion gallons; for advanced biofuels – 2.75-billion gallons; for biomass-based diesel – 1.28-billion gallons; and for cellulosic biofuels – 14-million gallons. The RFS2 program encourages greater use of renewable fuels – including advanced biofuels. For 2013 – the program is proposing to implement the requirement of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to blend more than 1.35-billion gallons of renewable fuels over the amount mandated for 2012.

The annual renewable fuel volume targets established in the 2007 legislation steadily increase to an overall level of 36-billion gallons in 2022. The EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year to achieve these volumes. It is based on these standards that refiners and importers determine the minimum volume of fuel it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

The EPA’s proposed volumes and standards for 2013 are open for a 45-day public comment period. EPA will consider feedback from a range of stakeholders before the proposal is finalized.

Ethanol Industry Groups Respond to 2013 RFS Volume Proposal

According to Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen – the EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard requirements for 2013 will be the catalyst that finally compels oil companies to get serious about breaching the so-called blend wall. He says the year’s requirements will necessitate the use of more E15, E85 and other higher-level blends. He says the RFS is working as Congress envisioned – injecting larger volumes of biofuels into the U.S. fuel supply and spurring a more rapid transition to domestically produced renewables. Dinneen says EPA considered the best available information to set the 2013 cellulosic biofuel requirement. He says it does not exaggerate the volumes that will be available in 2013 – and may actually prove to be conservative. Dinneen says RFA fully expects 2013 to be the breakthrough year for cellulosic ethanol.

But RFA has concerns too – particularly that the proposed standard for advanced biofuel will open the door even wider to imports of more expensive Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. Dinneen says imports accounted for 92-percent of the 2012 advanced biofuel standard. In an unconstrained fuel market where E15 and other mid-level blends were broadly available – Dinneen says imports wouldn’t be a major concern. But he says oil companies continue to throw up roadblocks to E15 and other mid-level blends.

Dinneen says RFA will continue to encourage EPA to revisit its lifecycle analysis – and will file comments in response to the EPA’s 2013 RFS proposal.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says his group is also reviewing the EPA’s announcement and will submit formal comments on the proposed biofuel volumes. But noting they were long overdue – he says Growth Energy is pleased the agency has released the proposed volumes. According to Buis – the RFS has been a resounding success – helping create jobs here in America that can’t be outsourced and revitalizing rural economies across the country in addition to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.

 

Source: NAFB News Service