Letter signed by 111 organisations urges EPA to process RINs for biomass and biogas generated electricity
A press release from the American Biogas Council announced that the letter, signed and approved by 111 separate firms from the biomass and biogas industry, requested that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler include renewable electricity into the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
In 2007, Congress approved the RFS participation of using renewable feedstocks as fuel for electricity generation, among other types of biomass and biogas. The EPA also approved renewable electricity in 2014. However, despite this progress, the EPA has not registered any facilities under the RFS, nor has it recognised respective producers with Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), otherwise known as “eRINs.”
This follows suit with other issues surrounding the juridical support of the North American renewable energy sector industry. In June of this year, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu vetoed Senate Bill 365 (SB365) which would have subsidised the state’s various biomass plants.
“There is no good reason to deny the ability of biomass and waste-to-energy to produce RINs – particularly when Congress has already given its explicit approval”, said Bob Cleaves, president and CEO of Biomass Power Association, one of the many organisations who signed the letter.
Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council, also gave his own statement on the issue, saying, “It’s time for EPA to take action and the steps necessary to approve the renewable electricity pathway. Once that happens, we will all be able to benefit from increased economic activity to build biogas systems which displace fossil fuels, produce soil amendments and protect our environment.”
If these organisations, who have submitted applications to participate in the RFS program, are permitted to become part of the RFS, they will be classified in the cellulosic fuel (D3) category.
According to the press release, the EPA has fallen short of its targets by a significant margin in the D3 division. The American Biogas Council estimates that permitting biogas, biomass and waste-to-energy to register under the RFS would expand the availability of cellulosic fuels by approximately 170 million gallons per year.
This article was written by Joshua Heer, junior editor of Bioenergy Insight.