EPA’s 2022 Biofuel Blending Requirements—and SRE Stance—Appreciated by Soy Growers

Jun 03, 2022

Washington, D.C., June 3, 2022. While slightly lower than originally anticipated in December, soybean farmers remain pleased with the blending volumes announced June 3 by the Environmental Protection Agency, which include the largest-ever renewable volume obligation for biomass-based diesel and clear a troublesome backlog of small refinery exemption, or SRE, requests.

The 2022 finalized rule aligns with levels previously determined by Congress, setting the 2022 BBD volumes at 2.76 billion gallons, up from 2.43 billion for 2020 and 2021. The 2022 overall volumes are set at 20.63 billion gallons and retroactive volumes for 2021 at 18.84 billion gallons, 2020 at 17.13 billion gallons. These are the largest-ever volumes for total renewable fuels and specifically for BBD since the renewable fuel standard was created.

Brad Doyle, American Soybean Association president and soybean farmer from Weiner, Arkansas, said, “We are happy to see these RVOs that are so important to the soy industry being set significantly higher than in previous years and take this news as a sign of support for the Renewable Fuel Standard going into 2023. Additionally, we greatly appreciate the administration sticking to its commitment to no longer allow small refinery exemptions to continue being a means to skirt blending requirements."

EPA denied 69 pending petitions from small refiners, clearing the backlog of SREs. Going forward, the agency will require new methodology for evaluating petitions. The final rule also confirms EPA will restore the 500 million gallons of biofuels that were wrongly waived in 2016, with 250 million supplemented in 2022 and the other half in 2023.

In addition to EPA’s announcement, USDA also announced nearly $700 million in payments for biofuel facilities it said will support the maintenance and success of the biofuels market for soy and corn producers, along with those biofuel producers, following COVID-19 hardships.

ASA has vocally supported both increased annual blending requirements and the denial of waivers, which erode the integrity of the RFS. Biodiesel is a key market for soy that uses soy oil at the same time soy meal can be used for protein-packed animal feed, and it is a clean-burning fuel alternative that likewise demonstrates soy growers’ commitment to using their U.S.-grown beans in more places more sustainably.