EPA proposes increase on RFS biofuel mandate

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed an increased biofuel blending mandate of 20.04bn gallons (91.1bn litres) in 2020 as part of the country’s Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS).

The proposed mandate would be a rise from the 19.92bn gallons (90.5bn litres) of biofuel that refiners blended into their fuel in 2019, according to a Reuters report on 9 May.

It comprised 15bn gallons (68bn litres) of conventional biofuels such as ethanol – unchanged from 2019 – and 5.04bn gallons (23bn litres) of advanced biofuels, up from 4.92bn gallons (22bn litres) in 2019.

EPA spokesperson Michael Abboud said that “the proposal is currently under interagency review, which places the Trump administration on track to release the RFS Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) on time for the third consecutive year”.

The agency had also set mandates for cellulosic fuel at 540M gallons (2.4bn litres) and non-cellulosic fuel at 4.5bn gallons (17bn litres), as part of the advanced biofuel proposal, Reuters reported.

Additionally, it proposed a biodiesel mandate for 2021 of 2.43bn gallons (11bn litres), unchanged from 2020.

The EPA has been setting blending requirements as part of the RFS, which originated with the 2005 Energy Policy Act and was expanded by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The RFS requires renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel in increasing amounts each year, escalating to 36bn gallons (136bn litres) by 2022. Each renewable fuel category in the RFS must emit lower levels of greenhouse gases relative to the petroleum fuel it replaces.