In posting the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard Proposed Rule, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a 2020 renewable volume obligation (RVO) for cellulosic biofuel of 540 million gallons (ethanol gallon equivalents or EGE). “While EPA’s projection methodology results in a 29.2-percent increase over the prior year that recognizes significant ongoing production growth in renewable natural gas by an industry working to decarbonize our natural gas fuel supply, a 540 million gallon volume falls short of accounting accurately both for volumes waived via small refinery exemptions and for actual real-world RNG production,” said Coalition for Renwable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) co-founder and CEO, Johannes Escudero.
Renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) and Renewable liquefied natural gas (R-LNG) accounting for 525 million of the 540 million gallons in 2020, as proposed, represents a 31.4-percent growth rate calculation for RNG under the Renewable Fuel Standard from April 2018 to March 2019 compared to the same time period the year prior. “We will work diligently with EPA throughout the public comment period toward a final rule later this year that reflects the full growth of the RNG industry and accounts for the impact of expanded small refinery exemptions,” Escudero said.
In last year’s rulemaking, taking into account updated RNG production numbers later into the year, the Proposed Rule’s cellulosic biofuel volume of 381 million gallons increased 37 million gallons to 418 million in the 2019 Final Rule.