Clean Fuels says RFS proposal misses the mark with biomass-based diesel

Clean Fuels Alliance America is disappointed the EPA has proposed minor increases for biomass-based diesel volumes over the next three years.

Kurt Kovarik is vice president of federal affairs with Clean Fuels.  

“The EPA chose to essentially flatline growth for the biomass-based diesel category, so that would include biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel

He tells Brownfield the proposed volumes are below existing and potential production with investments in new capacity.

“It’s hard to believe and hard to fathom given the unbelievable growth we’re seeing in new capacity coming online. We’re estimating somewhere between one to three billion gallons of additional capacity in the biomass-based diesel industry over this time period and EPA essentially provided a 60-million-gallon increase, a 70-million-gallon increase, and another 60-million-gallon increase,” he says. “I’m talking about multiple billions of additional capacity coming online and EPA proposing to increase annually between 60 and 70 million gallons.”  

And, Kovarik says the proposal misses the mark in addressing the administration’s carbon emission reduction goals.

“Considering this administration’s singular focus for two years has been on addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions wherever they can, it’s really disappointing,” he says. “It’s a missed opportunity to not utilize these volume setting proposals to drive additional growth, support, and the building out of some of the lowest carbon-emitting fuels on the planet,” he says.

Kovarik says the organization will participate in the EPA comment period and continue to share data that highlights investments being made to increase production capacity and distribution infrastructure.

Clean Fuels says EPA’s data shows that the U.S. market reached 3.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel in 2021 and 2.9 billion gallons through October 2022. The Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook, which helps inform the agency’s decisions on annual RFS volumes, currently projects a 500-million-gallon increase in biodiesel and renewable diesel consumption for 2023. EIA has also projected 2.4. billion gallons of added renewable diesel capacity coming online by 2024 and another 1.8 billion gallons in announced planned capacity.

Kovarik says the organization is pleased the EPA is looking at a three-year time period for setting volumes.

“EPA has previously released data for one year at a time. But, because of the expiration of the statutory volumes setting through 2022, it reverts to what we call the set period, allowing EPA essentially full reign to set volumes and they wisely chose to do more than one year,” he says. “One year doesn’t provide a whole lot of certainty and market predictability so providing three years is fantastic.”

Clean Fuels would like EPA to reconsider the proposed volumes before finalizing them.

Audio: Kurt Kovarik

Clean Fuels Alliance America is the national trade association representing biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel.

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