US renewable fuel production may fall short of mandate

06 February 2013 20:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LAS VEGAS (ICIS)--US renewable fuel production may fall short of the 13.2bn gal (50.0bn litre) requirement set forth by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Wednesday.

However, overproduction from previous years will more than make up for the deficit, said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis for the RFA. He made his comments at the National Ethanol Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The final numbers aren’t in yet, but it’s likely we will be a bit short of the 13.2bn gal requirement,” Cooper said. “But because of overcompliance over the last several years, a substantial bank of RIN credits has been accumulated. Those will allow for easy compliance with the 2012 requirements.”

Refiners and fuel blenders must obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) as proof that they are using certain volumes of biofuels in their energy products.

Under rules set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of producing biofuel themselves, refiners can buy RINs from other producers to fulfil their obligations.

Ethanol production began to decline in 2012, when a key tax credit expired. The trend has continued to 2013.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, ethanol production is down 16% year on year for the week ending 1 February.

By: Bobbie Clark
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