EPA Proposes Biogas Amendments to the Renewable Fuel Standard: RIN Generation on Electricity from Biogas, Cellulosic RIN Generation and Other Changes

On May 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that would further incorporate the use of biogas into the RFS. The RFS requires gasoline and diesel refiners, blenders and importers to purchase and use an ever-increasing number of renewable fuel credits (known as RINs) representing volumes of renewable fuel to offset the annual production of petroleum-based transportation fuel. While the EPA has always permitted RIN generation on biogas used as a transportation fuel, today’s proposal would significantly increase the number of RINs generated on biogas and potentially the value of those RINs.

Presently, the EPA allows the generation of Advanced Biofuel RINs on biogas produced at landfills, wastewater treatment plants and manure digesters used as a transportation fuel provided that the biogasis used as a gas rather than being converted to electricity and then used as a transportation fuel. Under the RFS, one RIN is generated for every 77,000 BTUs of biogas used as a transportation fuel. Advanced Biofuel RINs presently trade at $1.00/RIN or $12-13/mmbtu of biogas used as a transportation fuel.

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