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NEFI: Refinery Exemptions Hurt Biodiesel Market

Small refinery exemptions by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten the market for biodiesel and biodiesel-blended heating oil “aka Bioheat fuel,” the New England Fuel Institute says in its NEFI Energy Online News. EPA approved 31 small refinery exemptions (SREs) for oil refiners in 2018, according to the Aug. 20 issue of the newsletter, known as NEON. “These SREs threaten the market for biodiesel and biodiesel-blended heating oil aka Bioheat fuel, as evidenced by several biodiesel plant closures that had already occurred as a result of previous SRE approvals,” the newsletter said.

Additional plant shutdowns have been reported, the newsletter notes. World Energy announced on Aug. 16 that it would cease production and furlough employees at its facilities in Harrisburg, Pa.; Rome, Ga.; and Natchez, Miss. World Energy tied the decision to shutter operations directly to the SRE waivers and their impact on biodiesel demand, the newsletter says.

NEFI President and CEO Sean Cota said, “The recent biodiesel plant shutdowns are just the latest example of how drastic changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard damage the very industries that this policy was created to support in the first place.”

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