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EPA Proposes Change to Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes for 2018


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a proposed rule setting the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2018 under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program. Renewable natural gas qualifies under the federal program as a cellulosic fuel and as an advanced biofuel.

Today’s action proposes volume requirements and associated percentage standards that maintain renewable fuel volumes at levels comparable to the 2017 standards, recognizing limits to the growth of cellulosic and advanced biofuels.

The proposed volumes are based on requirements under the law and an analysis of current market dynamics, including energy demand, biofuel production, and market constraints. The proposed standards will help stabilize the renewable fuels program and provide certainty for stakeholders.

“Increased fuel security is an important component of the path toward American energy dominance,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We are proposing new volumes consistent with market realities focused on actual production and consumer demand while being cognizant of the challenges that exist in bringing advanced biofuels into the marketplace.”

Some key elements of the recent action:

  • Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel volumes are maintained at the 15-billion gallon target set by Congress.
  • EPA is beginning technical analysis that will inform a future rule to reset the statutory volumes for cellulosic, advanced, and total biofuels. The law requires this reset when certain conditions are met.

Proposed and Final Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements for 2014-2019:

  2017 Proposed 2018 Proposed 2019
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons): 311 238 n/a
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons): 2.0 2.1* 2.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons): 4.28 4.24 n/a
Renewable fuel (billion gallons): 19.28 19.24 n/a

*Biomass-based diesel standard is final for 2018.

For more information, visit the EPA website.