The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for biomass-based diesel for 2019 and the advanced biofuels volumes for 2018, calling for biomass-based diesel volumes of 2.1 billion gallons for 2019, the same level established by EPA for 2018.
For the advanced biofuels volumes, EPA has proposed 4.24 billion gallons for 2018, below the 4.28 level established for 2017. American Soybean Association (ASA) President and Illinois farmer Ron Moore signaled ASA’s frustration with the levels in a statement:
“The lack of growth in the biomass-based diesel volumes and the reduction in advanced biofuels volumes is certainly disappointing and a missed opportunity by the Administration to demonstrate their support for the U.S. biodiesel and soybean industries. As a point of reference, there were approximately 2.9 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel utilized in the U.S. in 2016. ASA and our biodiesel industry partners have urged EPA to set the RFS levels for biomass-based diesel at 2.75 billion gallons for 2019. To have the levels proposed be no higher than called for in 2018 and less than what is being utilized in 2016 is disappointing and would miss an opportunity to utilize surplus soybean oil to diversify our fuel supply and boost jobs, particularly in rural America.
“ASA believes the volumes for the biomass-based diesel category and the over-arching advanced biofuels category should be higher to capitalize on the opportunity to boost domestic biodiesel production. ASA, along with the National Biodiesel Board, supported RFS volumes at a level of 2.75 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel in 2019 and 5.25 billion gallons of total advanced biofuels for 2018. The advanced biofuels volume requirements provide an important market opportunity for soy biodiesel, which is the most prevalent fuel to qualify as an advanced biofuel.
“The levels proposed do not take full advantage of an opportunity to further promote the viable, domestically produced renewable fuel industry that is U.S. biodiesel. This is only the beginning of the process, and in the coming weeks ASA and U.S. soybean farmers will meet with EPA and others in the Administration to demonstrate the value of increased biodiesel volumes for both farmers and consumers nationwide.”