The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) welcomed the release of new standards to support American jobs and energy security. The group applauds the administration for working to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels by raising biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“The real winners with this announcement are American consumers who will now have access to even more cleaner burning, advanced biofuel,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “These benefits extend far beyond the biodiesel industry, supporting high paying jobs and clean air across the nation. Though we are poised to top these numbers this year, growth in advanced biofuels still sends positive signals to the marketplace.”
Under the new RFS rule, biomass-based diesel standards would move to 2.1 billion gallons in 2018 up from 2 billion gallons in 2017. The biomass-based diesel category—a diesel subset of the overall advanced biofuel category—is made up of biodiesel and renewable diesel, another diesel alternative made from the same feedstocks using a different technology.
Additionally, the new RFS rule would move advanced biofuels to 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 up from 3.61 billion gallons in 2016 with biomass-based diesel continuing to fill a large portion of the advanced program.
The new standards reflect modest growth in the standards but remain below the more than 2.6 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel expected in 2016.
The RFS—a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush—requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel stream. The law is divided into two broad categories: conventional biofuels, which must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%, and advanced biofuels, which must have a 50% reduction. Biodiesel is the first advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and has made up the vast majority of advanced biofuel production under the RFS to date.
Made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement used in existing diesel engines. According to the EPA, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57% – 86% compared with petroleum diesel, qualifying it as an advanced biofuel under the RFS.
“While NBB applauds the increased volumes, there is room for more aggressive growth. The U.S. biodiesel industry can do more. The production capacity and feedstock are clearly available as the market is already topping these levels. We will work with the incoming administration to help them understand the benefits provided by our growing domestic biodiesel industry and the potential to support additional jobs and investment in rural economies,” Rehagen said.