Just how the latest Biden administration setback for makers of bio and renewable diesel will affect the CVR refinery in Wynnewood in southern Oklahoma isn’t clear yet.
But the setback handed such refineries involves federal quotas for the fat-based fuel that advocates say ignore a surge in production and a wave of investment in new manufacturing plants.
As for the Wynnewood refinery, it joined the ranks of renewable diesel manufacturers in May of 2022 when it completed conversion and startup of its biodiesel unit as part of a $110 million project. The company had announced it completed conversion of the hydrocracker to renewable diesel service.
But now CVR and other biodiesel manufacturers face new regulations set to be finalized this week by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA plans to require the use of 2.82 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, general from soybean and canola oil. Bloomberg reported it is just a 2.2% increase over the 2.76 billion gallons mandated last year.
Overall, the EPA will require a record amount of renewable fuel to be mixed into gasoline and diesel over the next three years — up to 22.33 billion gallons in 2025.
The action drew an unfavorable response from the Diesel Technology Forum, a non-profit group that said the EPA announcement established “disappointing future volumes” for the Renewable Fuel Standard, “well below all expectations.”
“It will delay the important opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of low carbon biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels,” stated the group in a statement.
“Yet rather than issuing a robust and growth-oriented future volume set rule that expands the use of renewable diesel and biodiesel fuels to drive faster and deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA touts it primarily as an energy security strategy to reduce 140,000 barrels of foreign oil imports,” concluded the organization.
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