ABFA: Data suggests a gulf between RFS proposal and available feedstocks, production capacity
The Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) released comments it submitted to U.S. EPA on the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard rule. The comments support a higher standard for the advanced biofuel (D5) pool, referencing data on available feedstocks and production capacity to support up to 7 billion renewable identification number (RIN) credits.
The association’s members, who alone will account for 5 billion gallons of renewable diesel production to be online by the end of 2024, are calling on the agency that oversees administration of RFS to recognize its responsibility to encourage the production of advanced biofuels.
“EPA previously proposed that the total advanced biofuel pool be set at 5.77 billion RINs,” the associated stated. “In the fall of 2021, leaked EPA documents showed an EPA proposed number closer to 7 billion RINs, which ABFA supports. Rapid innovation in this sector represents an area of remarkable success for the advanced biofuels industry. This presents a terrific opportunity for this administration to achieve significant carbon reduction from the distillate side of the transportation market.”
Michael McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association president, said, “For the advanced biofuels industry to meet the growing demand for low-carbon fuels, we’re calling on the EPA to maintain a strong RVO supported by data, fostering a predictable regulatory and policy environment that properly recognizes both the growing demand for advanced biofuels, and the carbon benefits of this technology. We support increasing available RINs from EPA’s proposed 5.77 billion to a data-driven 7 billion.”
A recent study released by the Advanced Biofuels Association and shared with EPA shows demand for biobased diesel is growing strongly as countries aim to meet carbon-reduction goals. The organization has set a goal to reach 21 billion gallons per year of biobased diesel in the U.S. by 2040. “In order to hit this target,” McAdams said, “[our] members will need to reach 9 billion gallons per year by 2030. Currently, feedstock supplies available for use in the U.S. are more than enough to meet our forecast demand, after accounting for food. We look forward to engaging the EPA about the findings of this study and the outlook for the RFS this year.”
Policy certainty from EPA has never been more important, according to the association. “Fuel markets have been highly volatile since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it stated. “This volatility significantly impacted costs to comply with the RFS program, reflected in the prices of RINs and ongoing market swings. Without clarity and certainty as called for in the RFS statute, market rumors and government vagueness have wreaked havoc on the advanced biofuels industry, disrupting its stability and ability to plan and invest.”