State & Regional Issues
Legislation & Rules
Renewable Fuel Standard Program, May 10, 2010 Federal Register, Final
Rule - Amends the March
26, 2010 final rule to correct technical errors and clarify existing
definitions. The rule includes a new definition for "foreign ethanol
producers" and includes a modified definition of naphtha to indicate that it
must be a blend stock or fuel blending component. The rule also requires all
renewable fuel producers to include information on their facility baseline
volumes. In addition, it clarifies that both domestic and foreign facilities
are required to conduct a third-party engineering review by a professional
chemical engineer (or foreign equivalent). The effective date is July 1, 2010.
Changes to the
Renewable Fuel Standard Program, March 26, 2010 Federal Register, Final
volume standards for specific categories of renewable fuels including
cellulosic, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuels. The rule also sets
annual requirements for the total amount of renewable that must be used in
transportation fuel. For 2010, the RFS volume is 12.95 billion gallons. The
effective date is July 1, 2010.
Renewable Fuel Standard Program, June 24, 2009 Federal Register, Final
Rule - Amends
the RFS program to clarify the process for separating Renewable Identification
Numbers (RINs). Specifically, the rule invalidates the use of all duplicate RINs. The rule also states that unless a party was previously granted a "small
refinery/refiner" exemption, it may only separate the RINs for neat renewable
fuel that has been designated as motor vehicle fuel. The effective date is
August 24, 2009.
40 CFR 80
for the control and/or prohibition of fuels and additives for use in motor
vehicles and motor vehicle engines. It also establishes a credit and trading
system, compliance mechanisms, and record keeping and reporting requirements.
Energy Policy Act of
2005, Title XV: Ethanol & Motor Fuels, Subtitle A: General Provisions, § 1501
Renewable Content & Gasoline, August 8, 2005
This policy creates the Renewable Fuels Program within the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and gives EPA the authority to establish regulations to
“ensure that gasoline…in the United States on an annual average basis, contain
the applicable volume of renewable fuel.” The legislation set renewable fuel
volume requirements (measured in gallons) as follows:
Updates, Comments & Other Reports
August 2012 On
August 1, a bipartisan group of 156 members of the House of Representatives sent
letter to EPA asking it to use its power to temporarily relax or
lift the RFS ethanol requirements for 2012.
Drought conditions in the Midwest and elevated concerns over corn prices from
the food producing industries have prompted Congress to petition EPA for this
waiver. The 2012 mandate for corn-derived ethanol is 13.2 billion gallons, which
could easily consume more than 40 percent of this year’s corn crop.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that 48 percent of
the U.S. corn crop had been rated poor to very poor. Corn future prices for
December delivery also reached a record high of $8.205 per bushel on July 31.
In mid-July, EPA had indicated that it was not considering a waiver because it
believed the corn supply to still be sufficient.
The 2012 RFS mandates the use of 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels,
approximately 1.25 billion more gallons of renewable fuels than in the prior
The standard includes a mandate for 8.5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol,
approximately a 31 percent increase from the prior year.
To date, not a single commercial-scale plant is operational.
Moreover, there has not been a single gallon of qualifying fuel produced
anywhere in the world.
Nevertheless, EPA seems to be pursuing an enforcement policy that would penalize
refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel for failing to use a fuel that
doesn’t exist by requiring them to purchase "cellulosic
biofuel waiver credits" for 2010 and 2011.
EPA has issued a new
regulation that establishes labeling standards for E15 fuel dispensers for
retail stations that choose to sell the product. The
rule also requires additional language in all gasoline product transfer
documents (PTDs), or bills of lading, starting on November 1, 2011.
For additional information,
EPA has issued two decisions granting partial waivers to allow gasoline or model
2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles to be blended with greater than 10
percent and up to 15 percent ethanol.
For additional information,
EPA has finalized the 2011 percentage standards for the four categories of
fuel under the agency’s RFS program. Based on an analysis of expected market
availability, EPA is finalizing a lower 2011 cellulosic volume than the
statutory target of xx, as mandated under the Energy Independence and Security
Act of 2007. The final 2011 overall volume requirements and percentage
standards are listed below. For additional information, please visit the
On October 13, EPA partially
approved a petition to increase the ethanol blend limit in fuel for use in
certain motor vehicles from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15). Under the
decision, E15 blends may now be sold and distributed for use in model year 2007
and newer cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles. Blends
higher than E10, however, may not be used in motorcycles, heavy-duty engines,
off-road vehicles and equipment, and model year 2000 and older vehicles. EPA
has deferred its decision on model year 2001-2006 until further testing is
completed. EPA also stipulated two additional conditions to maintain fuel
quality for blended gasoline: E15 must meet ASTM international standards for
ethanol; and it must also have a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of no more than 9.0
pounds per square inch.
2008 Updates, Comments & Other
2007 Updates, Comments & Other
Related ILTA Articles
ILTA provides a monthly
newsletter to its membership. Members may log in to the Member Resources page to
access archived newsletters. The following is a list of articles ILTA has
published in its newsletter relating to Alternative Fuels.
Industry Groups Sue EPA Over Cellulosic Biofuel
Mandate, July 2012 Issue (p.5)
E15 Engine Test Results in Mechanical Damage in
Some 2001-2009 Vehicles, June 2012 Issue (p.2)
EPA Approves First Applications for E15
Registration, But Market Barriers Remain, May 2012 Issue (p.5)
2012 Renewable Fuel Standard and the Unrealistic
Cellulosic Mandate, January 2012 (p.3)
EPA Requires New PTD Language for Loading Gasoline
at Terminals, November 2011 (p.3)
Chasing Rainbows in Search of Cellulosic Biofuels,
August 2011 (p.4)
EPA Issues Final Rule on Measures Aimed at
Mitigating Misfueling from Use of E15, August 2011 (p.2)
A Deeper Look at Corn Ethanol Policy Economics,
July 2011 (p.7)
Chasing Rainbows in Search of Cellulosic
Biofuels, August 2011 (p.2)
Industry Appeals EPA's Second E15 Decision;
Commercial E15 Remains Illegal, April 2011 (p.2)
EPA Allows Use of E15 in More Motor Vehicles,
February 2011 (p.4)
Cellulosic Biofuels: A Regulatory Paradox,
January 2011 Issue (p.4)