RFS Roundup: Advanced Cellulosic Industry Group Breaks with Industry on RFS
(Environmental and Energy Study Institute) On March 11, at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., Advanced Biofuels Association President Michael McAdams broke with the “Don’t Mess with the RFS” mantra that has been the collective industry response to EPA’s 2014 proposal to lower the volumes of renewable fuel required by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Overall, the ethanol industry has maintained that the RFS is working as intended, and that the Administration already has the tools needed to fix any issues with the law.
For the first time, at Wednesday’s conference McAdams conveyed the sentiment of his members that the RFS is now only working for some sectors of the bioeconomy, namely first and second generation fuels that are now reaching commercial levels. Representing 3rd generation biofuels producers such as algae, drop-in fuels, and renewable chemical companies, McAdams said his group is changing course and calling on Congress to amend the RFS, commenting “in order to achieve such changes, the RFS needs to be amended legislatively… So I am announcing today that ABFA, at the instruction of our members, will actively seek to reform the program.”
In his speech, McAdams outlined three changes his group is promoting in an attempt to provide certainty to the companies he represents. They include a minimum value for cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which identify each volume of renewable fuel, and can be sold and traded as compliance credits. The second is an extension of policy certainty beyond 2022 (the current sunset date on the RFS), and the third is requiring blenders to purchase existing cellulosic fuels, instead of buying waiver credits. READ MORE and MORE (Biofuels Digest) and MORE (DomesticFuel.com; includes Audio) and MORE (The Wall Street Journal) and MORE (FuelFix) and MORE (Forbes) and MORE/MORE (Denver Post) and MORE (Advanced Biofuels Association) and MORE (Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association)