EPA Finalizes RFS Obligations for 2018 | NACS Online – Media – News Archive
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EPA Finalizes RFS Obligations for 2018

The agency’s final volume obligations for 2018 were higher than 2017 levels.
December 1, 2017

Today, EPA made public its final rule setting the 2018 renewable volume obligations (RVOs). Similar to its original proposal from July, EPA used its waiver authority to lower the levels for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuels, and total renewable fuel below statutory levels. Levels for biomass-based diesel generally remained steady.

A table showing EPA’s final RVOs and percentage standards for 2018 is below. The prior 2015, 2016, and 2017 final volumes and percentage standards are also listed for reference (the previously finalized volumes/percentages are shaded, with newly finalized volumes/percentages not shaded).

Volumes Used to Determine the Final Percentage Standards
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Cellulosic biofuel 123 mill gal 230 mill gal 311 mill gal 288 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
Advanced biofuel 2.88 bill gal 3.61 bill gal 4.28 bill gal 4.29 bill gal n/a
Total renewable fuels 16.93 bill gal 18.11 bill gal 19.28 bill gal 19.29 bill gal n/a

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

Final Percentage Standards
2015 2016 2017 2018
Cellulosic biofuel 0.069% 0.128% 0.173% 0.160%
Biomass-based diesel 1.49% 1.59% 1.67% 1.74%
Advanced biofuel 1.62% 2.01% 2.38% 2.37%
Total renewable fuels 9.52% 10.10% 10.70% 10.67%

By statute, EPA must make final the renewable volumes available by November 30 of the previous year. EPA had sought a second request for comments, causing concern that the November 30 deadline might be delayed this year, though the agency ultimately released its proposal on schedule.

Overall, EPA’s final volume obligations for 2018 were higher than 2017 levels, though EPA noted that certain RVOs were still unable to be set at statutory levels. Specifically, in the final rule, EPA said it was using its “cellulosic waiver authority to reduce advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel by the same amount as the reduction in the required volume of cellulosic biofuel.” The intent is to ensure that RVOs are based on levels of cellulosic biofuel that are “project[ed] to be available for 2018” and allow renewable fuels to “continue to play a critical role as a complement to our petroleum-based fuels.”

A link to EPA’s Rule Summary is HERE. A link to EPA’s Final Rule is HERE.