EPA’s 2019 cellulosic biofuel volume will increase RNG project investment and development – RNG Coalition
On November 30, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed 2019 Renewable Fuel Volume Obligations (RVO) under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“The growth in production of renewable natural gas and the completion of nearly 50 new production facilities from coast to coast since 2014 is proof positive that the RFS is working as intended for cellulosic and advanced biofuels,” said Johannes Escudero, CEO of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition).
On November 30, 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2019 and biomass-based diesel volume for 2020. The EPA sets the advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes lower than what the agency acknowledges will be produced. Moreover, the rule leaves open a backdoor to retroactively reduce required Renewable Fuel Volume Obligations (RVO)volumes through hardship exemptions.
Representing over 160 companies and organizations dedicated to the advancement of renewable natural gas (RNG), including as an ultra-clean, domestically-produced, renewable fuel in North America, the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) welcomes the announcement.
We appreciate that the EPA’s 418 million gallon cellulosic biofuel volume requirement for 2019 reflects continued growth in the renewable natural gas industry. It provides a policy framework that will lead RNG stakeholders to invest in and build new RNG production facilities just as the Renewable Fuel Standard is designed to do said Johannes Escudero, CEO of the RNG Coalition.
The RNG industry produces 95 pervcent of the fuel used to meet the RFS program’s cellulosic biofuel requirement. The industry’s cellulosic biofuel production has increased significantly in recent years. October 2014 RNG production was 6.6 million gallons; October 2018 RNG production was 28.5 million gallons. An additional 55 RNG production facilities are under construction or development.
The growth in production of renewable natural gas and the completion of nearly 50 new production facilities from coast to coast since 2014 is proof positive that the RFS is working as intended for cellulosic and advanced biofuels. We appreciate EPA timely finalizing these expected volumes and, as stated by EPA, we look forward to working to ensure that the program, including small refiner exemptions, are administered in a way that do not undermine the program’s advanced biofuel requirements, concluded Escudero.