Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Applauds EPA’s Finalized Renewable Fuel Standard Rule that will Increase Biofuel Production

Bustos urged the EPA to increase this level to strengthen Illinois farmers and help break our dependence on foreign fossil fuels

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released their final rule for 2017 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) that increases biofuel usage significantly. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Bustos has been a steadfast advocate for increasing the use of biofuels to help break our addiction to foreign fossil fuels and strengthen Illinois’ family farmers.

“Today is a major step forward for our farmers and biofuel producers who want to be a part of the solution as we work to achieve American energy independence,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Every time we choose to use biofuels instead of imported oil, we choose to put American jobs and American innovation first. I am very pleased that the EPA listened to us and agreed to increase biofuel usage in the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

In July 2016, after the EPA released their recommended proposed RFS levels, Congresswoman Bustos joined her colleagues in sending a letter urging for an increase in biofuels usage. With today’s announcement, which increases biofuel usage mandates significantly above the proposal from May, it’s clear that effort was successful.

Background about the EPA’s finalized RFS rule announced today:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, today’s action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

Some key elements of today’s action:

  • The standard for biomass-based biodiesel – which must achieve at least 50 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to petroleum-based diesel – grows by 100 million gallons. The required volume of biomass-based diesel for 2017 is twice as high as the minimum congressional target.
  • Non-advanced or “conventional” renewable fuel increases in 2017 meet the 15 billion gallon congressional target for conventional fuels.
  • Cellulosic biofuel – which must achieve at least 60 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions – grows by 35 percent over the 2016 standard.
  • The advanced biofuel standard – which is comprised of biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, and other biofuel that achieves at least 50 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions – increases by 19 percent over the 2016 standard.
  • Total renewable fuel volumes grow by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 percent increase.


Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements for 2014-2018

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons) 33 123 230 311 n/a
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons) 1.63 1.73 1.9 2.0 2.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons) 2.67 2.88 3.61 4.28 n/a
Renewable fuel (billion gallons) 16.28 16.93 18.11 19.28 n/a