Biodiesel offers safe, affordable RINs for '08-'09

By | March 17, 2008
The National Biodiesel Board recently welcomed the U.S. EPA publication of the new 9 billion gallon Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2008.

NBB CEO Joe Jobe explained how biodiesel is an important component and a huge value to the current domestic petroleum marketplace. "In 2008, we anticipate the domestic biodiesel industry will produce more than 500 million gallons or at least 750 million worry-free renewable identification numbers (RINs), which can be used by the petroleum sector to meet its renewable fuel requirements in both 2008 and 2009," he said.

The petroleum sector is preparing for compliance with the updated RFS and must secure enough infrastructure to move renewable fuels in the marketplace. All RINs generated in 2008 will exceed the minimum lifecycle analysis of 20 percent, which according to Congress, is required to carry a renewable fuel RIN into 2009.

"Biodiesel RINs offer 'safe' RINs for the petroleum industry," Jobe said. "First, biodiesel will exceed the 20 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas reduction requirements for the base renewable fuel mandate in 2009. In fact, according to a USDA/DOE lifecycle study, soy-based biodiesel has a 78 percent carbon dioxide reduction. Second, biodiesel can be used in 2008, and the RINs can be safely carried forward to 2009, which means the RINs can be sold or purchased without fear of whether or not they will be valid."

The EPA published a Federal Register notice on Feb. 14 announcing that 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels are going to be required to meet the 7.76 percent RFS in 2008. The Clean Air Act, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), requires the EPA Administrator to annually determine an RFS. It applies to refiners, importers and certain blenders of gasoline. On the basis of this standard, each obligated party determines the volume of renewable fuel that it must use. This standard is calculated as a percentage, by dividing the amount of renewable fuel that the act requires to be blended into gasoline for a given year by the amount of gasoline expected to be used during that year.

In 2007, the U.S. biodiesel industry produced nearly 500 million gallons of high-quality, clean burning, sulfur-free biodiesel, with a RIN value of approximately 750 million "ethanol-equivalent gallons."
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