EPA finalizes increases in renewable fuel levels

Agency issued higher volumes than originally proposed

Posted December 9, 2015

On December 1, EPA announced final volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, and final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017. The rule finalizes higher volumes of renewable fuel than the levels EPA proposed in June. EPA says the higher levels will help boost renewable production and provide support for a robust, achievable growth of the biofuels industry.

The final 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel — the fuel with the lowest carbon emissions — is nearly 200 million gallons, or 7 times more, than the market produced in 2014. The final 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1 billion gallons, or 35 percent, higher than the actual 2014 volumes; the total renewable standard requires growth from 2014 to 2016 of more than 1.8 billion gallons of biofuel, which is 11 percent higher than 2014 actual volumes. Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 2 billion gallons by 2017.

The RFS, established by Congress, requires EPA to set annual volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. The final rule considered more than 670,000 public comments, and relied on the latest, most accurate data available. EPA finalized 2014 and 2015 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel used in those years, and standards for 2016 (and 2017 for biodiesel) that represent significant growth over historical levels. 

Final renewable fuel volumes

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)

33

123

230

n/a

Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)

1.63

1.73

1.90

2.00

Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)

2.67

2.88

3.61

n/a

Renewable fuel (billion gallons)

16.28

16.93

18.11

n/a


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