The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) has welcomed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ruling that canola oil-derived renewable diesel now qualifies as advanced biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) programme.
This is good news for canola growers, renewable fuel producers, consumers, and the environment.
“The EPA’s approval of these new pathways provides more ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, parity for canola oil with other vegetable oils and fats in the market, canola farmers additional markets for surplus crops, and renewable fuel producers diversified feedstock options,” stated Andrew Moore, USCA president and canola grower.
In March 2020, the USCA petitioned the EPA to approve canola oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel.
In April 2022, the EPA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and heating oil produced from canola oil reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% compared to petroleum in order to be eligible for the RFS.
“Increasing demand for lower carbon, cleaner burning fuels makes those derived from canola oil important as the United States strives to diversify its long-term energy sources and renewable fuel feedstocks,” added Moore. “More feedstock options allow renewable fuel producers to utilise market efficiencies, protect against price volatility, and provide flexibilities due to unforeseen circumstances.”
US renewable diesel production grew from 62 million gallons in 2011 to 838 million gallons in 2021, according to the EPA.
The US. Energy Information Administration expects this production to triple by the end of 2023 due to the conversion of petroleum refineries and new construction of renewable diesel refineries. This expansion is largely being driven by low-carbon fuel policies in jurisdictions like California, which benefit US agriculture.
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