Friday the American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed news that the Environmental Protection Agency will propose the volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 by June 1, 2015 and finalize them by November 30, 2015. In addition to the 2014 and 2015 volume requirements, EPA announced the same timeline for establishing the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2016 and 2017. ASA President Wade Cowan, a farmer from Brownfield, Texas, noted the association’s cautious optimism in a statement Friday afternoon:
“Today’s announcement provides encouragement that EPA will get the RFS implementation back on track and provide greater certainty and stability to the U.S. biodiesel industry. ASA has been urging EPA and the White House to address the overdue RFS volume requirements and move forward immediately on finalizing increased volumes for biomass-based diesel, and we met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in late March and pressed this issue.
“As good as this news is, however, there are still questions that remain regarding the volume levels that EPA will propose for 2014-2017. We will continue to work closely with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) to advocate the appropriate volumes for the program. EPA has indicated that it will propose volume requirements for 2014 that ‘reflect the volumes of renewable fuel that were actually used in 2014.’ The total amount of biomass based diesel utilized in 2014 was approximately 1.75 billion gallons. From there, ASA will continue making a case to EPA and the Administration to provide modest and achievable annual increases in the biomass-based diesel volumes.”
Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, added, “I am pleased to hear that the EPA has finally put a process in place to establish some certainty for biofuel producers with the recent announcement of the timeline for the proposed 2015 RVO rule by June 1st as well as the final 2014 and 2015 volume obligations by November 30, 2015. Our producers have faced ambiguity for too long and today is welcome news that they are establishing a level of certainty with this announcement. However, far more important than timing is that that the EPA establishes a final rule that moves our industry forward, and reflects the bipartisan vision Congress intended for the RFS.
“Additionally, while not part of the consent decree, we are pleased to see that the EPA has committed to finalizing the 2016 RFS RVO numbers this year as well. By taking this action, they are ensuring that the RFS is back on a path to certainty for the biofuels industry, providing the necessary guidance for the industry to continue to thrive and advance alternative fuel options for American consumers.”