LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) – On the eve of the expected release of the final Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2023 to 2025, a group of 75 industry representatives asked President Joe Biden to ensure the EPA "substantially" increases volumes for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels above the agency's original proposal.
In a letter to Biden, Clean Fuels Alliance America along with the likes of the American Soybean Association and 22 state-level soybean associations, the Diesel Technology Forum, National Energy and Fuels Institute, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Renderers Association and the U.S. Canola Association, said the industries already are producing more biofuels than the original proposal called for.
As part of a court settlement the EPA is required to finalize volumes in the multi-year RFS by June 14.
"The proposed RFS volumes simply do not provide sufficient market space for the fuels that are produced and available now to help numerous industries decarbonize their transportation footprint," the letter said. "The low volumes threaten the ability of new market sectors, like marine and aviation, to decarbonize in the near term.
"The undersigned have asked EPA to annually increase the biomass-based diesel volumes by 500 million gallons. Given the demonstrated increase in production in the first four months of this year, the request is very conservative. As your administration reviews the RFS rule for 2023, 2024 and 2025 before its final release on June 14, we ask that you ensure a true upward trajectory for the program's volumes to further facilitate the growth of homegrown, low-carbon, advanced biofuels."
The EPA proposed in December to raise biomass-based diesel by 65 million gallons on average for each of the next three years.
"That proposal severely undermines the rapid growth of domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel production," the letter said. "It would allow no market space at all for sustainable aviation fuel."
EPA data shows domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel production for January through April 2023 is 30% higher compared to the same four-month period in 2022.
"The domestic production rate is likely to increase as companies complete construction of additional new capacity and bring it online," the letter said.
"Companies across 10 different Midwestern states have invested more than $5 billion to expand or construct 20 oil-seed processing facilities over the next three years."
Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs with Clean Fuels, said in a statement, "Our members, agriculture partners, and fuel users have all made significant investments to grow the industry, and those investments are already paying off. In the first months of 2023, the clean fuels industry increased biodiesel and renewable diesel production by more than 200 million gallons.
"EPA must follow through on its promise of an upward trajectory for RFS volumes. As capacity and production grows, the economic benefits will increase -- unless EPA fails to get the RFS volumes right."
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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