EPA's Proposed RFS Rules Continue to Undercut Advanced Biofuels

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has again proposed rules for the Renewable Fuel Standard that will continue to chill investment for advanced biofuels and increase climate emissions, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said today in reaction to the release of proposed rules for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 RFS program.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated: “EPA’s delays in the RFS rulemaking have already done significant damage to the advanced biofuel industry.

“The agency’s 2013 proposal to constrict market access for renewable fuels and its delays in approving pathways for advanced biofuels have chilled investment in the sector. We estimate EPA is responsible for a $13.7 billion shortfall in necessary investments for advanced biofuel capacity. EPA shouldn’t scratch its head and wonder why the cellulosic biofuel industry is having increasing difficulty attract capital to build additional new capacity.

“Additionally, the previous proposed 2014 rule and the delay in finalizing it caused a measureable increase in greenhouse gas emissions. While transportation fuel increased from 2013 through 2014, oil companies used proportionally less renewable fuel. The result was 21 million metric tons of added CO2 emissions during the past year – equal to putting 4.4 million more cars on the road.

“Today’s overdue re-proposal doesn’t do enough to get the RFS program back on track. The RFS was designed to provide a market floor for biofuels. Instead, EPA has once again proposed to help the oil industry build a regulatory wall to keep advanced biofuels out of the U.S. market.”

BIO recently released an analysis showing that instability in EPA’s administration of the RFS is responsible for chilling as much as $13.7 billion in investments that the advanced biofuel industry needed to build capacity to meet the RFS goals. The chill in investment has had the heaviest impact on cellulosic biofuel developers. The delays in rulemaking have also undercut the industry’s ability to create new employment opportunities, resulting in the loss of more than 80,000 direct jobs.

Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization
Date: May 29, 2015