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ABC remains disappointed over EPA's final rule on RFS volumes

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released its final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2018. In a statement, the American Biogas Council (ABC) says it remains "disappointed about several elements" in the final rule.

Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC) seen here speaking at the UK AD & Biogas event in July 2016.

Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC) seen here speaking at the UK AD & Biogas event in July 2016.

The American Biogas Council is glad to see that in keeping with Administrator Pruitt’s statement earlier this year, the final volumes for 2018 have been released on time and are not as bad as initially proposed, regarding both the actual volumes for biogas and the counting methodology to derive them. However, we remain disappointed about several elements in the final rule said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC).

According to ABC, although the final volumes for 2018 show an increase from the proposed 2018 volumes, they show a decrease from the 2017 volumes in an industry that EPA has acknowledged is growing. “The final rule itself states, biogas is playing the leading role in the production of next-generation cellulosic fuels”.

While ABC “recognize and appreciate the improvements” that the EPA made to their proposed new counting methodology in the final rule, the new counting methodology is said ABC still “a step backwards” from the methodology used in previous years and is also “backwards-looking, which is inappropriate for the forward-looking RFS”.

It is disappointing that EPA has passed another rule that fails to activate the existing electric pathway in the RFS. We urge EPA to use existing regulations, and issue any necessary EPA guidance, to maximize opportunities for small producers to participate in and benefit from the RFS electric pathway in 2018, said Serfass.

Overall, the ABC remains appreciative of the role the Renewable Fuel Standard plays in driving growth in the American biogas industry.

When we build more biogas systems, we produce more homegrown renewable fuel, create new infrastructure and jobs, promote domestic investment, increase energy security and protect our air, water and soil. We hope that in the future, the EPA will take stronger steps to support the growth of industries like ours which are trying increase renewable fuel production-the reason that Congress created the RFS, Serfass said.

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