Trade and markets


United States of America
Commodity Group
Policy Category
Renewable energy
Policy Instrument
Biofuel policy
Considered lowering the mandatory renewable fuel consumption targets for 2018–2019 proposed in July 2017, on concerns that the originally proposed targets could lead to inadequate domestic supplies of biofuel to consumers. In October 2017, after meeting resistance from lawmakers, the initiative was abandoned.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposals for mandatory consumption of total, conventional and advanced renewable fuels in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel in 2019. As in past years, several of the proposed volumes range below the statutory targets set by Congress in 2007, allegedly reflecting the need to account for changing market realities. For 2018, EPA proposed (i) a slight year-on-year drop in the volume of total renewable fuels, which would keep volumes significantly below the congressional target; (ii) to leave non-advanced/‘conventional’ biofuels (mostly maize-based ethanol) unchanged compared to 2017, compliant with the original targets; and (iii) to lower advanced biofuels from the 2017 level, hence falling short of statutory volumes. Under the ‘advanced biofuels’ category, volumes of biomass-based diesel produced from vegetable oils and animal fats (which were raised in past years) would remain unchanged in 2019. Furthermore, ‘biomass-based diesel’ would continue to qualify as well under the ‘undifferentiated advanced biofuels’ category. EPA invited public comments on the proposed volumes, informing that final figures would be published by 30 November 2017. Representatives of the country’s biodiesel industry maintained that EPA’s biodiesel proposal continues to underestimate the sector’s capacity to produce much higher volumes.