NEFI Warns of EPA Effort to Limit Biodiesel Use in Heating Oil

The Biden Administration is attempting to limit biodiesel blends in heating oil and diesel fuel to no more than 20 percent (B20), the National Energy & Fuels Institute says in an “Action Alert” to its members. “Your help is needed to defeat this arbitrary and misguided proposal.”

NEFI’s message includes a link to a ready-made letter that can be sent to the EPA expressing opposition:

The deadline for submission is Friday, February 10, 2023, at 11:59pm ET.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a proposed rule that sets all biofuel volumes for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for the coming years and makes several changes to the program,” NEFI’s message says. “The RFS is important because it generates renewable fuel credits, known as ‘RINs,’ that incentivize production and blending of biodiesel into the fuel supply, including home heating oil.

“Buried deep in [the] lengthy proposal is a change that prohibits RINs from being ‘separated’ from gallons of diesel fuel and home heating oil if the biodiesel blend exceeds 20 percent. This would effectively devalue any blend above this amount and discourage higher blends from being offered in the marketplace.”

NEFI says the EPA did not include a reason for an “arbitrary and seemingly politically motivated change.”

Further, the Institute says, “The change would make fuel dealers less competitive in a market where consumers and state and local policymakers are demanding low-carbon home energy solutions. It would be particularly disruptive in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. These states now require biodiesel blends in home heating oil and plan to move well beyond B20 as part of a long-term climate plan. The EPA proposal could make this impossible.

“This EPA proposal is a free gift to the ‘electrify everything’ movement and gas and electric utilities. By keeping biodiesel blends below 20%, heating oil will be less competitive from an emissions perspective with respect to natural gas and electric heat pumps. It is basically a backdoor way to knock us out of the game.”

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