US EPA finalizes 2012 renewable fuel standards
On Dec. 27, the U.S. EPA finalized the 2012 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency’s renewable fuel standard (RFS2) program. EPA continues to support greater use of renewable fuels within the transportation sector every year through the RFS2 program, which encourages innovation, strengthens American energy security, and decreases greenhouse gas pollution.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) established the RFS2 program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which 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. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.
The final 2012 overall volumes and standards are:
- Biomass-based diesel (1.0 billion gallons; 0.91 percent)
- Advanced biofuels (2.0 billion gallons; 1.21 percent)
- Cellulosic biofuels (8.65 million gallons; 0.006 percent)
- Total renewable fuels (15.2 billion gallons; 9.23 percent)
Last spring EPA had proposed a volume requirement of 1.28 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel for 2013. EISA specifies a one billion gallon minimum volume requirement for that category for 2013 and beyond, but enables EPA to increase the volume requirement after consideration of a variety of environmental, market and energy-related factors. EPA is continuing to evaluate the many comments from stakeholders on the proposed biomass-based diesel volume for 2013 and will take final action next year.
Overall, EPA’s RFS2 program encourages greater use of renewable fuels, including advanced biofuels. For 2012, the program is implementing EISA’s requirement to blend more than 1.25 billion gallons of renewable fuels over the amount mandated for 2011.