Pruitt Reverses Course on Biofuels in 2018 RFS Determination
by Jessie Stolark (Environmental and Energy Study Institute) On November 30, the EPA released its final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVOs) proposal, the amount of biofuels it will require to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply in 2018 as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The proposed volumes made waves this summer, as they were the first time that the EPA had chosen to lower total fuel volumes, compared to the prior year. Compared to the proposal, cellulosic biofuels received a modest boost of 50 million gallons in the final volumes. The biofuels industry argues that advancements – such as the growing biogas sector (a cellulosic fuel) and the rapid deployment of corn-fiber to fuel technology warrant more robust cellulosic fuel volumes for 2018. And, of course, these fuels represent even greater greenhouse emission reductions as compared to gasoline.
Additionally, in reducing statutory volumes by 20 percent in two consecutive years, EPA will prompt a “reset” of volumes. According to the Clean Air Act, any RFS reset undertaken by the EPA would require a complete analysis of various factors including impacts of the statute on the environment, the transportation fuels market, prices of agriculture commodities, food prices, job creation and rural development. READ MORE