The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its long-awaited proposed rule for 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumetric requirements.

The proposal waives the cellulosic biofuel requirement from one billion gallons to 14 million gallons, but retains overall advanced biofuel and renewable fuel requirements.

In response, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following comments:

“The 2013 RFS requirements will be the catalyst that finally compels oil companies to get serious about breaching the so-called blend wall. This year’s RFS requirements will necessitate the use of more E15, E85 and other higher-level blends. Injecting larger volumes of biofuels into the U.S. fuel supply and spurring a more rapid transition to domestically produced renewables is exactly what the RFS was intended to do.

“The program is working as envisioned by Congress.

“EPA again considered the best available information — including projections from the Energy Information Administration — to set the 2013 cellulosic biofuel requirement. The proposed standard in no way exaggerates the volumes that will be available in 2013 based on current information, and may ultimately prove to be conservative.

“Cellulosic ethanol is being produced today at commercial scale in Florida, and with construction nearing completion at several other commercial sites, we fully expect 2013 to be the breakthrough year for cellulosic ethanol.

“At the same time, the fact that EPA waived 98.6 percent of the statutory cellulosic biofuel standard demonstrates the extraordinary flexibility and adaptability of the RFS program.