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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Proposes Increases in Renewable Fuel Levels


(ATLANTA 05/29/15) - Today the EPA announced proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The proposal would boost renewable fuel production and provide for ambitious yet responsible growth over multiple years, supporting future expansion of the biofuels industry.

"This proposal marks an important step forward in making sure the Renewable Fuel Standard program delivers on the Congressional intent to increase biofuel use, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security," said Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air. "We believe these proposed volume requirements will provide a strong incentive for continued investment and growth in biofuels."

After extensive outreach and dialogue with the agricultural community, biofuel producers and the oil and gas industry, EPA is proposing to establish 2014 standards at levels that reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel use in that year, and standards for 2015 and 2016 (and 2017 for biodiesel) that increase steadily over time.

Proposed Renewable Fuels Volumes

Cellulosic biofuel
33 mill gal
106 mill gal
206 mill gal
Biomass-based diesel
1.63 bill gal
1.70 bill gal
1.80 bill gal
1.90 bill gal
Advanced biofuel
2.68 bill gal
2.90 bill gal
3.40 bill gal
Total renewable fuel
15.93 bill gal
16.30 bill gal
17.40 bill gal

Note: Units for all volumes are ethanol-equivalent, except for biomass-based diesel volumes which are expressed as physical gallons.

The proposed volumes represent substantial growth over historic levels. For example:

The proposed 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel - those fuels with the lowest GHG emissions profile - is more than 170 million gallons higher than the actual 2014 volumes. That's six times higher than actual 2014 volumes.

The proposed 2016 standard for total renewable fuel is nearly 1.5 billion gallons more, or about 9 percent higher, than the actual 2014 volumes.

The proposed 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is more than 700 million gallons - 27 percent - higher than the actual 2014 volumes.

Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 1.9 billion gallons by 2017. That's 17 percent higher than the actual 2014 volumes.

EPA is proposing to use the tools provided by Congress to adjust the standards below the statutory targets, but the steadily increasing volumes in the proposal indicate that biofuels remain an important part of the nation's overall strategy to enhance energy security and address climate change.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set annual RFS volume requirements for four categories of biofuels. By displacing fossil fuels, biofuels help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help strengthen energy security.

EPA will hold a public hearing on this proposal on June 25, 2015, in Kansas City, Kansas. The period for public input and comment will be open until July 27. EPA will finalize the volume standards in this rule by Nov. 30.

For more information on today's announcement, go to www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm