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Renewable Fuel Standard

Fueling Our Future

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume for its 2018 and 2019 biomass-based diesel targets. The agency chose to maintain the biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.1 billion gallons.

 

Biodiesel is a powerful, clean-burning and renewable fuel produced from domestic resources including soybean oil. Biodiesel creates an additional market for Illinois soybeans. A recent checkoff-funded study found biodiesel contributed to an $18.8 billion increase in soybean oil revenues between 2006 and 2014.

Renewable Fuel Volumes Requirements for 2014 – 2019:

  • 1.63 billion gallons in 2014
  • 1.73 billion gallons in 2015
  • 1.90 billion gallons in 2016
  • 2.00 billion gallons in 2017
  • 2.10 billion gallons in 2018
  • 2.10 billion gallons in 2019

 

RFS Update June 28, 2018

 

The EPA calls for RFS biomass-based diesel volumes to increase to 2.4 billion gallons for 2020, a 300 million gallon increase over the 2019 levels. ISG applauds this announcement and the progress it would make for the biodiesel industry.

 

RFS Update March 9, 2018

 

President Donald Trump and his administration have held several meetings with industry stakeholders in response to a request from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to place a hard cap or waiver on the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) that would assist petroleum companies.

 

A RIN is a serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use and trading. As required by the RFS, refiners blend biofuel into the US. fuel supply or purchase credits – RINs – from other companies that do the blending instead.

 

Capping RIN costs would not only undermine the RFS but could significantly harm biodiesel production and related industries, including a reduction in annual biomass-based diesel volumes by as much as 300 million gallons. ISG supports the biodiesel industry’s opposition to placing a cap on RIN prices.

 

RFS Update November 30, 2017

 

After holding a comment period in October to lower 2018 and 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for biomass-based diesel below 2.1 billion gallons, the EPA finalized the rule to maintain biomass-based diesel at this level.

 

While it’s fortunate that volumes were not cut lower than what was initially proposed, ISG is frustrated that these levels will provide very little growth opportunity from 2017 volumes.

 

RFS Update July 5, 2017

 

The EPA released the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for biomass-based diesel for 2019, deciding to maintain the biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019. The EPA will open a comment period and announce a public hearing for this proposal. ISG is disappointed in the lack of growth in the biomass-based diesel volumes and will continue to support the value of increased biodiesel volumes.

 

RFS Update November 23, 2016

 

The EPA released its RFS volumes requirements for 2017 – 2018. The agency chose to maintain the biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.1 billion gallons for 2018, the same level in the initial Proposed Rule. This represents a 100 million gallon increase in the RFS biomass-based diesel volumes from 2017. The Illinois Soybean Growers had advocated increasing the Proposed Rule for biomass-based diesel volumes to 2.5 billion gallons for 2018, but is satisfied that at least some growth was achieved.

 

RFS Update May 18, 2016

 

The EPA has released the Proposed Rule to set RFS volume requirements for biomass-based diesel at 2.1 billion gallons for 2018. The Illinois Soybean Growers believes the proposed rule can and should do more.

 

RFS Update November 30, 2015

 

The EPA announced its RFS Final Rule setting biomass-based diesel volume requirements at:

  • 2014 – 1.63 billion gallons
  • 2015 – 1.73 billion gallons
  • 2016 – 1.90 billion gallons
  • 2017 – 2.00 billion gallons

 

ISG commends the modest change in volume as compared to previously announced proposals. It is a step in the right direction to capitalize on Illinois’ potential biodiesel growth.

 

RFS Update June 25, 2015

 

A public hearing in Kansas City regarding the EPA’s RFS standard led to hundreds of citizens testifying against the reduced fuel requirement. A final decision is expected from the agency later in the fall.

 

RFS Update May 28, 2015

 

ISG supports the new proposal because of the 600 million dollar increase, but favors higher levels.

 

“Soybeans are used to make biodiesel – a renewable fuel that helps support Illinois agriculture and the state’s economy,” said Bill Raben, ISG chairman and soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill. “This low-emission, clean-burning fuel is being produced at extraordinary rates and shouldn’t be held back considering the benefits it has over alternative fuels.”
RFS Update November 21, 2014

 

The EPA announced it will not finalize the 2014 RFS RVO before the end of the year. The EPA’s proposed rule for the 2014 RFS RVO issued in November 2013 generated significant controversy and likely drove the EPA to this decision.

 

The EPA also extended the 2013 RFS compliance reporting into 2015 and plans to take action on the 2014 standards “prior to or in conjunction with action on the 2015 standards rule.”

 

While the announcement postpones debate over lowering biofuel production targets that could hurt Illinois industries, it leaves uncertainty and hinders potential economic growth for Illinois. ISG will continue to follow any RFS discussions and, when appropriate, engage with regulators on behalf of Illinois’s soybean growers.

 

RFS Update January 29, 2014

 

ISG submitted comments this week regarding the EPA’s RFS Required Volume Obligation (RVO). ISG expressed its concerns about cutting biodiesel production during the next two years under RFS. The proposal to set the RFS RVO for biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons for 2014 and 2015 and reduce the total Advanced Biofuel requirement to 2.2 billion gallons counters our nation’s energy security and is inconsistent with the administration’s prior support for cultivating Advanced Biofuels production in the United States.

 

Biodiesel production has been averaging 170 million gallons per month for several months, or an annualized rate of 2 billion gallons. A reduction to 1.28 billion gallons would shock the industry, sharply cutting market demand.

 

Such a reduction – roughly half the production rate – would devastate the industry and create even more severe economic impacts, particularly in Illinois:

 

  • Illinois ranks in the top five in the nation for both biodiesel production and production capacity, with five biodiesel plants that have an estimated annual production capacity of nearly 200 million gallons. Due to many factors, including favorable Illinois tax programs, the industry has grown ten-fold in ten years.
  • The biodiesel industry has supported nearly 9,000 jobs in all sectors of the state economy.
  • The biodiesel industry generated $1.66 billion of household income and was responsible for more than $3 billion of Illinois GDP between 2004 and 2011.

 

RFS Update November 18, 2013

 

ISG is disappointed with the U.S. EPA’s Proposed Rule for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard Required Volume Obligations (RVO) issued late last week. The biomass-based diesel levels – which are the amount of biofuels that obligated parties must utilize for 2014 – would be reduced below the amount actually produced in 2013.

 

EPA proposes a biomass-based diesel RVO of 1.28 billion gallons. EPA also has proposed to reduce the total advanced biofuels requirement, which limits opportunities for biodiesel. By keeping the RVO target at the lower 1.28 billion gallon level, EPA limits a valuable market for soybean farmers. Biodiesel provides a market for soybean oil, which increases the availability of protein-rich soybean meal. The increased meal supply results in a more cost-effective food and feed source.

 

“The level is unnecessarily low and would stifle growth and job creation potential demonstrated by the biodiesel industry,” says Bill Raben, soybean farmer from Ridgway, Ill., and ISG chairman. “Biodiesel, including biodiesel produced from soybean oil, is the most prevalent advanced biofuel produced in Illinois and the nation. Biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production. The industry has met or exceeded the RFS volume requirements every year.”

 

ISG will work with industry stakeholders and EPA during the public comment period to demonstrate the merit and benefits of setting the biomass-based diesel RVO at a level in the final rule that is not below the amount produced in 2013.