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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

EPA’s RFS proposal attempts to limit biodiesel blends in heating oil to 20%

The Biden administration is attempting to limit biodiesel blends in heating oil and diesel fuel to no more than 20 percent (B20), according to an action alert issued by the National Energy & Fuels Institute Feb. 3.

“Your help is needed to defeat this arbitrary and misguided proposal,” NEFI stated.

The U.S. EPA recently published a proposed rule that sets all biofuel volumes for the Renewable Fuels Standard for 2023-’25 and makes several changes to the program.

NEFI noted that the RFS is important because it generates renewable identification number (RIN) credits that incentivize production and blending of biodiesel into the fuel supply, including home-heating oil.

“Buried deep in the lengthy proposal is a change that prohibits RINs from being ‘separated’ from gallons of diesel fuel and home-heating oil if the biodiesel blend exceeds 20 percent,” NEFI stated. “This would effectively devalue any blend above this amount and discourage higher blends from being offered in the marketplace. What’s more, the EPA did not even include a reason for this arbitrary and seemingly politically motivated change.”

According to NEFI, this change would make fuel dealers less competitive in a market where consumers and state and local policymakers are demanding low-carbon home energy solutions.

“It would be particularly disruptive in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island,” the organization stated. “These states now require biodiesel blends in home-heating oil and plan to move well beyond B20 as part of a long-term climate plan. The EPA proposal could make this impossible.”

NEFI characterizes the EPA proposal as a “free gift to the ‘electrify-everything’ movement and gas and electric utilities.”

By keeping biodiesel blends below 20 percent, heating oil will be less competitive from an emissions perspective with respect to natural gas and electric heat pumps.

In 2019, the Northeast heating oil industry committed to what’s known as the Providence Resolution in which the sector vows to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent by 2023, 40 percent by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The only realistic way in which to achieve these goals is through greater use of biodiesel in blends far beyond 20 percent.

“It is basically a backdoor way to knock us out of the game,” NEFI said of the EPA proposal. “Take a moment to send a letter of opposition to the EPA. A letter has been prepared for you and is available using the following link. The deadline for submission is Feb. 10.”



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