RFS Comment Period Ends Jan. 28
By DTN Staff
STREATOR, Ill. (DTN) -- The comment period for the proposed 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard will close Jan. 28, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday, Nov. 29.
The EPA on Nov. 15 released the long-awaited proposed RVOs for 2014 which includes a reduction in the overall mandate to 15.21 billion gallons from volumes set by statute at 18.15 billion.
"Relying on its Clean Air Act waiver authorities, EPA is proposing to adjust the applicable volumes of advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel to address projected availability of qualifying renewable fuels and limitations in the volume of ethanol that can be consumed in gasoline given practical constraints on the supply of higher ethanol blends to the vehicles that can use them and other limits on ethanol blend levels in gasoline," EPA said Friday. "These adjustments are intended to put the program on a manageable trajectory while supporting growth in renewable fuels over time."
Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. is now E10, which is fuel with up to 10% ethanol. The proposal cuts the nested RFS category primarily satisfied with the corn-based ethanol to roughly 13 billion gallons, down from 14.4 billion gallons set by statute, in an effort to avoid the ethanol blend wall -- the saturation point for ethanol in the gasoline pool based on current gasoline standards and consumer preference.
Volumes proposed for 2014 are 17 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 1.27 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 2.2 billion gallons of advanced biofuel, with the total RFS at 15.21 billion gallons.
The proposal includes volume ranges within each category as follows: Cellulosic, 8 million to 30 million gallons, biomass-based diesel remaining at 1.28 billion gallons, advanced biofuels at 2.0 billion to 2.51 billion gallons and renewable fuel total at 15.0 billion to 15.52 billion gallons.
EPA expects to have a final rule in the first quarter of 2014.
Final RVOs are by law to be finished by the end of November prior to the compliance year.
The RFS targets steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year.
Each obligated party -- refiners, blenders and importers -- must determine the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must blend or offset by purchasing a compliance credit based on the volume of petroleum produced, blended or imported into road transportation fuel.
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