EPA issues final RFS quotas for 2018, biomass-based diesel for 2019

Dec. 11, 2017
The US Environmental Protection Agency met its statutory deadline as it announced final biofuel quotas for fiscal 2018 and biomass-based diesel quotas for 2019 that were only slightly different from those proposed earlier this year.

The US Environmental Protection Agency met its statutory deadline as it announced final biofuel quotas for fiscal 2018 and biomass-based diesel quotas for 2019 that were only slightly different from those proposed earlier this year.

"Maintaining the renewable fuel standard at current levels ensures stability in the marketplace and follows through with my commitment to meet the deadline," EPA Administrator E. Scott Pruitt said Nov. 30 as he released the volumes.

Final 2018 requirements will be 288 million gal for cellulosic biofuel, 4.29 billion gal for advanced biofuel, and 19.29 billion gal for renewable fuel. Biomass-based diesel's 2019 quota will not change from the previously announced 2.1 billion-gal level for 2018.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said a day earlier when he got word of the quotas that they fell short of the US biofuels industry's potential. "That is disappointing, particularly the lack of increase for biodiesel levels and the cut in cellulosic level requirements," adding, "Increases in the volume requirements are justified and would be good public policy."

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Pres. Chet Thompson immediately expressed disappointment once the official announcement was made. "Unfortunately, it appears that EPA did exactly what Sen. Grassley demanded, bowing the knee to King Corn," he said on Nov. 30. "We think this action is bad for US manufacturing and American consumers and encourage Congress to finally fix the RFS."

Equally critical was American Petroleum Institute Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola, who said, "Since the RFS was instituted more than a decade ago, the US has greatly reduced its dependence on crude oil imports."

Macchiarola said, "So this program is trying to solve a problem that no longer exists while creating real problems for consumers. Administrator Pruitt, therefore, faces the daunting task of implementing a broken program that was based on incorrect assumptions made over a decade ago."