EPA’s Final Volume Numbers Are Capitulation to the Petroleum Industry

Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS, November 30 - Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association Executive Director Timothy Rudnicki released the following statement on the final targets:

"EPA’s Final Volume Numbers Are Capitulation to the Petroleum Industry.

"The EPA’s failure to uphold the RFS gives petroleum just what it wanted: more heel dragging rather than complying with the law. According to the RFS, at least 15 billion gallons of renewable fuel, such as ethanol, should be used in the fuel transportation market in 2015.  Unfortunately, EPA’s final numbers fall short of the legally required amount of renewable biofuels for both 2015 and 2016.

"Congress intended for the RFS to drive change so as to increase our collective energy security while driving down GHG emissions with renewable biofuels like ethanol.  Biofuel producers relied upon the law and made significant investments to fulfill its part of the equation. Conversely,petroleum has dragged its feet since the first RFS in 2005 and now the EPA is rewarding noncompliance. 

"Biofuels, like ethanol, play a major role in reducing GHG emissions in the transportation sector.  Rather than abide by the black letter law of the RFS and maximize the GHG benefits of biofuels, the EPA has chosen to take us backwards."

The EPA finalized the volume requirements and associated percentage standards that apply under the RFS program in calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. EPA also finalized the volume requirement for biomass-based diesel for 2017.

Final Renewable Fuel Volumes

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

(Units for all volumes are ethanol-equivalent, except for biomass-based diesel volumes which are expressed as physical gallons.

Final Percentage Standards

Cellulosic biofuel 0.019% 0.069% 0.128%
Biomass-based diesel 1.41% 1.49% 1.59%
Advanced biofuel 1.51% 1.62% 2.01%
Renewable fuel 9.19% 9.52% 10.10%

The final 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1 billion gallons, or 35 percent, higher than the actual 2014 volumes, while the total renewable standard requires growth from 2014 to 2016 of over 1.8 billion gallons of biofuel, or 11% higher than 2014 actual volumes. Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 2 billion gallons by 2017.

Total Renewable Fuel Growth Over Time

Biomass Based Diesel Growth Over Time

Advanced Biofuel Growth Over Time

Rulemaking and supporting documents.