California Supports Biodiesel, Urges EPA to Increase Advanced Biofuel RFS Targets

As reported in a story by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), both the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) are showing their support for biodiesel by urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the biomass-based diesel and the advanced biofuel 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) targets.

The proposed reductions would create a negative impact on advanced biofuels projects in the state, however, the both agencies support a reduction in the conventional corn-based ethanol category, according to comments submitted to EPA.

In comments sent to the EPA, the groups stated, they “are concerned these proposed reductions will adversely impact the economic viability of more than 25 advanced biofuels projects in California that are receiving over $100 million in state funding.”

“The proposed rule also jeopardizes the development and expansion plans of numerous California biofuel projects that are projected to reach annual production of nearly 380 million gallons of biomass-based diesel and 180 million gallons of advanced biofuels by 2020,” the groups noted in their comments. “Should this portfolio of advanced, low carbon biofuels projects begin to falter due to the proposed reductions, it could impede the state of California’s efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation sector fuels by 2020, as envisioned in the Global Warming Solutions Act and Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).”

The groups also explained that the proposed reductions will negatively impact the “continued investment in low carbon fuels and in achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions and transportation fuel diversification.”

According to OPIS, specifically, ARB and the energy commission recommended EPA increase the 2014 biomass-based diesel requirement to 1.7 billion gal (up from EPA’s proposed 1.28 billion gal) and the advanced biofuel requirement to 2.75 billion gal (up from EPA’s proposed 2.20 billion gal).

However, while both agencies support the growth of biodiesel and the increasing of RFS targets, they also support the proposed reduction to the total renewable fuel category, including the conventional biofuel target.

“The state of California does support the 2014 reduction of the Renewable Biofuel (D6) requirement to 15.2 billion gpy. As a matter of state law and policy, the Energy Commission does not provide funding to biorefineries seeking to continue the production of first generation, high carbon intensity corn-based ethanol,” the agencies added.