US EPA finalises renewable fuel mandate for 2012 at 15.2bn gal

27 December 2011 21:14  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday finalised its renewable fuel mandate for 2012 at 15.2bn gal (57.6bn litres), more than 1.25bn gal over the amount mandated for 2011.

The amount comes to 9.23% of all fuel estimated to be produced in or imported to the US.

The mandate includes 1bn gal of biomass-based diesel, 2bn gal of advanced biofuels, and 8.65m gal of cellulosic biofuels – up from 6.6m gal of cellulosic biofuels for 2011.

The cellulosic biofuel mandate has been a source of contention with US oil refiners, who say they faced federal fines in excess of $6m (€4.6m) this year for failing to buy cellulosic ethanol.

If refiners do not purchase the mandated volumes of cellulosic ethanol, they have the option to buy EPA waivers at $1.13/gal for the cellulosic fuel they should have been using.

Refiners have argued that no US company is producing commercial volumes of cellulosic ethanol, and no such large-scale production of the biofuel is expected before 2013.

The EPA noted that last spring it had proposed a volume requirement of 1.28bn gal of biomass-based diesel for 2013.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) required a minimum of 1bn gal of biomass-based diesel for 2013 but allows the EPA to increase that amount.

“EPA is continuing to evaluate the many comments from stakeholders on the proposed biomass-based diesel volume for 2013 and will take final action next year,” the agency said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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