The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the finalized rule for required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.
The key elements of the final rule include maintaining the “conventional” renewable fuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, at the current 15-billion gallon level set by Congress for 2019; increasing advanced biofuel volumes for 2019 by 630 million gallons over the 2018 standard; increasing cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2019 by almost 130 million gallons over this year; and increasing biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 by 330 million gallons over the standard for 2019.
However, the agency declined to take any action on reallocating Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) to make up for small refinery hardship exemptions granted for RFS compliance in 2016 and 2017.
Biofuels stakeholder groups reacted to the news, pleased that the rule was finalized on time, but disappointed that nothing is being done to account for lost gallons from the waivers. Links to press releases and audio sound bites below: