US EPA proposes changes to 2011 renewable fuel standard

12 July 2010 18:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered its 2011 blending target for cellulosic-based biofuel as production of the fuel lagged initial estimates, the agency said on Monday.

The agency said lack of availability forced it to reduce its cellulosic biofuels requirement to 17.1m gal in 2011, down from the original target of 250m gal set in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) passed in 2007. 

“Based on the analysis of market availability, EPA is proposing a 2011 cellulosic volume that is lower than the EISA target,” the agency said in a statement. “Overall, EPA remains optimistic that the commercial availability of cellulosic biofuel will continue to grow in the years ahead.”

The EPA said it would keep the original 2011 EISA target blending levels for biodiesel and advance biofuels, set at 800m gal and 1.35bn gal respectively.

The EPA also proposed changing its renewable fuel mandate to include products derived from canola oil, sorghum, pulpwood and palm oil, none of which petroleum suppliers can now use to satisfy their blending obligations. 

The rule change would also set criteria that would allow some foreign feedstocks to be treated like their domestic counterparts, which could open the door for blenders to use imported biofuels to meet their biofuel targets.

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By: Ben Lefebvre
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