Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act introduced in U.S. Senate

A bill in the U.S. Senate would help international shipping companies increase their use of low-carbon fuels.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio says the legislation allows biodiesel producers to generate RIN credits on ocean-going vessels. He tells Brownfield this would help the international shipping industry meet its carbon reduction goals.

“It’s every way that we can reach those goals,” Brown said. “It’s every way we can expand markets for Ohio farmers and Midwestern farmers.”

The Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act designates renewable fuel used in ocean-going vessels as an “additional renewable fuel” (similar to jet fuel) under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Refiners and blenders are currently required to retire RINs from any biodiesel and renewable diesel used in vessels with Class 3 engines operating in international waters, including the Great Lakes.

Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America, says the bill will open new markets to American clean fuel producers and their farmer partners.

“The reason we’re supportive is because we now have demand from ocean-going for low carbon fuels,” Kovarik said. “They’re under pressure like many transportation sectors are to decarbonize. Biomass-based diesel is the easiest-to-deploy option to reduce that carbon.”

Republican Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska is co-authoring the legislation.

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