EPA Finalizes 2013 RFS Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard program Tuesday. The final overall volumes and standards require 16.55-billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply - a 9.74-percent blend. Specifically - the standard requires 1.28-billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 2.75-billion gallons of advanced biofuels and six-million gallons of cellulosic biofuels. EPA says these standards reflect updated production projections - which are informed by extensive engagement with industry and a thorough assessment of the biofuels market.

EPA notes a number of stakeholders submitted comments concerning the E10 blend wall during this rulemaking. The E10 blend wall refers to the difficulty in incorporating ethanol into the fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10. That's projected to occur in 2014. In the rule issued Tuesday - EPA announced it will propose to use flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal. The agency is also providing greater lead time and flexibility in complying with the 2013 volume requirements. The deadline to comply is extended by four months to June 30 of 2014.

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