On Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized two rules under its Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). One rule expands the list of advanced fuels while the other rule begins a voluntary program to combat fraud.
Specifically, EPA added compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and electric power used as a transportation fuel – all produced with sources of biogas – to the list of qualified cellulosic or advanced biofuel. While EPA has not finalized RFS volume for 2014 this rule mandates that a percentage of renewable fuels displace gasoline or diesel fuel. As anticipated the focus remains on advanced biofuels and EPA indicated this rule has the potential to provide notable volumes of cellulosic biofuel to the marketplace.
EPA also finalized a voluntary quality assurance program that addresses fraudulent trading in Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). RINs are tracking numbers accompanying each consignment of advanced biofuel produced.
Under the RFS refiners that do not meet their volume quota of advanced biofuel to mix with gasoline can purchase RINs. Under the new rule EPA will improve validation of these RINs through independent third parties that must use established EPA protocols when certifying RINs.
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