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BIO Comments on RFS Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes for 2020

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is pleased to provide comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020 (proposed rule).

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is pleased to provide comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020 (proposed rule).

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, and industrial and environmental biotechnology products. In the energy space, BIO represents more than 70 companies leading the development of new technologies for producing conventional and advanced biofuels. Through the application of industrial biotechnology, BIO members are improving conventional biofuel processes, furthering advanced and cellulosic biofuel production technologies, and speeding development of new energy crops.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been vital to the investment and growth of the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry. The RFS has enabled the United States to become a leader in the development and deployment of new technologies which has led to the growth of the biobased economy, benefitting farmers and commodity producer, help revitalize rural economies, create good paying jobs, and foster energy independence.

Unfortunately, the success of the biofuels industry and the benefits it provides the nation as a whole have been put at risk in recent years due to EPA’s actions administering the RFS. The proposed rule continues this uncertainty. While BIO supports EPA’s decision to raise the advanced and cellulosic biofuel volumes in the proposed rule, these increases will be undercut by the continued issuance of small refinery exemptions (SRE) without reallocating gallons to other obligated parties.

Despite pledges from the administration to cut through regulatory red-tape to foster economic growth and investment from industry, EPA still lags behind in the approval of new advanced and cellulosic biofuel pathways and petitions for production facilities. These delays arbitrarily keep advanced and cellulosic biofuels from reaching the market place hindering the growth of the industry.

A strong policy and regulatory environment is critical to supporting the type of innovation that will help strengthen the biobased economy, create good paying jobs and help revitalize rural economies across the country. It is critical the final rule for the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard Renewable Volume Obligations (RFS RVO) follow the letter and intent of the law to achieve these goals. As BIO illustrates in its comments below, it urges EPA to resolve these issues and overcome barriers keeping advanced and cellulosic biofuels from accessing the market.

BIO Comments on RFS Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes for 2020