US EPA updates renewable fuel standards

05-Feb-10
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated renewable fuel standards (RFS2), - leading to a major increase in the use of biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply. The update mandates that more than 15 bln gal pa of renewable fuels enter US fuel tanks by 2012. As per ICIS, US ethanol and biodiesel companies have commended most of the provisions in the new rule. The new standards will provide an impetus to domestic demand for biofuels refined using current technology and create financial incentives to develop the next generation of biorefineries. Current and prospective ethanol producers require stable federal policy offering market assurances they need to commercialise new technologies. By 2022, RFS2 calls for over 15 bln gal pa of corn-based ethanol, 21 bln gal pa of non-food crop ethanol, 16 bln gal pa of cellulosic ethanol and 1 bln gal pa of biodiesel by 2022. Meanwhile, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) has been critical of the rule and criticised the EPA for not detailing the rules months ago, while also questioning the science of the new methods. NPRA opines that combining biomass-based diesel volumes from 2009 with 2010 and making portions of the final rule retroactive to 1 January 2010 is unfair.
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