EPA Proposes Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on July 5 proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA also proposed RVOs for biomass-based diesel (BBD) for 2021. In the rule, EPA said it would use its waiver authority to lower the volumes of cellulosic biofuels, advanced biofuels, and total renewable fuels below the statutory targets.
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on July 5 proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA also proposed RVOs for biomass-based diesel (BBD) for 2021. In the rule, EPA said it would use its waiver authority to lower the volumes of cellulosic biofuels, advanced biofuels, and total renewable fuels below the statutory targets.

EPA did not address how it intends to address small refinery exemptions in the future, which means that the industry will not know what the actual mandate will be since EPA could by de facto cut that mandate through the exemption process.

EPA noted that small refinery waivers are still available under the statute for small refineries experiencing economic hardship. EPA says, however, that "at this time no exemptions have been approved for 2020."

In releasing its proposal, EPA said it has "reviewed and assessed the available information, which shows that obligated parties, including small entities, are generally able to recover the cost of acquiring the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) necessary for compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) through higher sales prices of the petroleum products they sell than would be expected in the absence of the RFS program... a cost-to-sales ratio test shows that the costs to small entities of the RFS standards are far less than 1 percent of the value of their sales."

NATSO will file comments on the proposal. Comments are due within 30 days of when the official notice posts in the Federal Register.

EPA must finalize the RVOs by the November 30, 2019, the statutory deadline for annual RVOs, by which time industry hopes to have a better understanding of how EPA intends to handle the small refinery exemptions.

EPA's RVOs and percentage standards are as follows, with 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 final volumes and percentage standards listed for reference:

 

 Volumes Used to Determine the Proposed Percentage Standards

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Cellulosic biofuel

123 mill gal

230 mill gal

311 mill gal

288 mill gal

418 mill gal

540 mill gal

n/a

Biomass-based diesel

1.73 bill gal

1.90 bill gal

2.0 bill gal

2.1 bill gal

2.1 bill gal

2.43 bill gal

2.43 bill gal

Advanced biofuel

2.88 bill gal

3.61 bill gal

4.28 bill gal

4.29 bill gal

4.92 bill gal

5.04 bill gal

n/a

Total renewable fuels

16.93 bill gal

18.11 bill gal

19.28 bill gal

19.29 bill gal

19.92 bill gal

20.04 bill gal

n/a

 

 

Proposed Percentage Standards

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Cellulosic biofuel

0.069%

0.128%

0.173%

0.160%

0.230%

0.29%

Biomass-based diesel

1.49%

1.59%

1.67%

1.74%

1.73%

1.99%

Advanced biofuel

1.62%

2.01%

2.38%

2.37%

2.71%

2.75%

Total renewable fuels

9.52%

10.10%

10.70%

10.67%

10.97%

10.92%

 

All volumes are ethanol-equivalent, except for biomass-based diesel which is actual.

 

EPA Proposed Rule Summary

EPA Proposed Rule

Media Contact:
Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman
Vice President, Public Affairs
Phone: (703) 739-8578
Email: twlazlowski@natso.com

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