United States of America
Renewable energy policy
Proposed to maintain mandatory consumption of biomass-based diesel at the same level as this year.
UNITED STATES biofuel policy: On November 15th, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to keep next years mandatory consumption of biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons (or 4.28 million tons) the same level as this year. EPA will accept comments for a period of 60 days, following which it is going to publish its final decision. The targets proposed for 2014 diverge from the RFS standard issued in 2007, which envisaged a gradual expansion in consumption up to the year 2022, with total biodiesel consumption possibly reaching 2 billion gallons in 2014. Reportedly, EPA has adjusted the original targets for current market and technology realities. The proposed 2014 target ranges well below the industrys installed production capacity estimated at close to 3 billion gallons and compares to an actual total output this year of about 1.7 billion gallons. Although this years excess production (relative to the compliance target of 1.28 billion gallons) may be carried over into 2014, that would reduce next years effective target even further. Already braced for another expiration of the blenders tax credit at the end of December, the countrys biodiesel producers are very concerned about EPAs proposal. The national biodiesel federation has suggested that the 2014 target be raised to todays actual production level (i.e. 1.7 billion gallons). Furthermore, it claims that, with consumption level stalled at 1.28 billion gallons, close to 8 000 biodiesel-supported jobs would be lost and USD 4.6 billion of total economic impact would be foregone.