NBB: Boost Biomass-Based Diesel RVO

Myke Feinman
By  Myke Feinman , Refined Fuels Reporter

STREATOR, Ill. (DTN) -- The National Biodiesel Board on Monday, July 27, called on the Environmental Protection Agency to increase its proposal for biomass-based diesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2016 and 2017.

On May 29, EPA proposed a higher Renewable Volume Obligation for the D4 biomass-based diesel nested category for the 2014 through 2017 compliance years, with language in the RFS stating an annual RVO at a minimum 1.0 billion gallons.

For 2014, EPA proposed an RVO at 1.63 billion gallons, at 1.7 billion gallons for 2015, 1.8 billion gallons for 2016, and at 1.9 billion gallons for 2017. The EPA proposal is slated to be finalized Nov. 30.

An annual RVO is required to be finalized by Nov. 30 of the preceding year it is to take effect, with an increase in the RVO above the stated volume requiring the EPA to finalize the notice 14 months in advance. As such, all of the EPA's proposals made on May 29 with the exception of the RVO for 2017 are extremely late.

Nonetheless, NBB has requested more aggressive RVOs for 2016 and 2017.

"National Biodiesel Board believes our original request for 2.4 billion gallons and 2.7 billion gallons [for years 2016 and 2017, respectively] is reasonable and achievable," the NBB wrote. "However, we believe any volume less than 2 billion gallons and annual increases of less than 300 million gallons through 2017 would be unreasonable, particularly when you consider the availability of prior year RINs."

Renewable Identification Numbers, generated when a qualified renewable under the RFS is produced or imported, are used by obligated parties -- refiners, blenders and importers -- to show compliance with their annual RVO.

During the first six months of this year, the industry produced 800,000 gallons of biomass-based diesel under the D4 nested category, which follows production of 1.75 billion gallons in 2014.

"The growth and expansion of the U.S. biodiesel industry in recent years represents a tremendous success story under the RFS," NBB wrote in its comments. "Today, nearly 2 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel displace an equivalent amount of petroleum diesel. This has resulted in significant reductions in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact across the nation."

NBB submitted their comments on Monday, which was the final day of the comment period for EPA's May 29 proposal.

Myke Feinman can be reached at myke.feinman@dtn.com

(BM/AG)

Myke Feinman