Senate bill aims to improve parity for renewable diesel, SAF

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2022

Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on April 7 introduced legislation that aims to improve data reporting for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), incentivize their production, and eliminate unnecessary labeling regulations.

Renewable Diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel Parity Act of 2022, or S. 4038, was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. To date, Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M.; and Steve Daines, R-Mont., have signed on to cosponsor the bill.

The bill would improve data availability for both fuels by requiring the U.S. Energy Information Administration to report on U.S. production and foreign imports of renewable diesel and SAF, including the type, origin and volume of feedstocks used for these fuels.

It would also allow renewable diesel and SAF production facilities to qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantees under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

In addition, the legislation would exempt renewable diesel that meets the same technical specifications as petroleum-based diesel from the labeling section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Specifically, renewable diesel or renewable diesel blends that meet ASTM D975 diesel specifications would no longer be required to feature a label describing the percentage of renewable fuel content.

A statement issued by Feinstein references an August 2021 letter that leaders of the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission sent to three Senate committees explaining how federal labeling requirements for renewable diesel are limiting use of the fuel within California.

“Federal regulations require labeling of fuel dispensers to inform end-users on the types of biofuels blended with gasoline and diesel fuel,” CARB and CEC wrote in that letter. “Nearly all of these regulations require labels to specify the range of biofuel that could be contained in the gasoline or diesel fuel.

“Currently, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) labeling regulations require fuel dispensers with diesel fuel blended with biomass-based diesel fuel (renewable diesel) in concentrations greater than 20 percent by volume to be labeled with the exact concentration of renewable diesel at the time of the fueling event,” they continued. “It is infeasible for many operators of fueling stations (gas stations, truck stops, card-locks, etc.) to determine the exact concentration of renewable diesel that will be dispensed and to create a new pump dispenser label for each new fuel delivery. Since federal pre-emption prevents California or any other state from passing labeling requirements that are counter to FTC regulations, we are reaching out to initiate a dialogue on potential options for how to address this issue. Further, given the fungible nature of renewable diesel with petroleum diesel and the fact that it has no bearing on performance the current requirements serve as an artificial barrier to using higher levels of renewable diesel. As such, we are losing an opportunity to deliver needed public health and climate benefits associated with using higher levels of renewable diesel.”

A full copy of the bill is available on Feinstein’s website



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