Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) led their colleagues in introducing the Renewable Diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel Parity Act of 2022. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Steve Daines (R-MO).
The bill would require the Department of Energy to track foreign imports and domestic production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. It would also provide incentives to produce more of these fuels in the US and eliminate unnecessary regulations that are limiting the use of renewable diesel in California.
Renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel are promising ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks and airplanes. Wyoming is already a leading producer of renewable diesel and is expected to produce a lot more in the near future. Currently, outdated and unnecessary regulations are limiting the use of this fuel. Our bipartisan bill will eliminate that red tape. It will also offer incentives to boost production of additional renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel here in the United States. It’s a win for the environment and a win for America’s economy.
The Renewable Diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel Parity Act of 2022 will:
Require the DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) to report on US production and foreign imports of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, including the type, origin, and volume of feedstocks used for these fuels;
Allow renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel production facilities to qualify for the Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantees under the Energy Policy Act of 2005; and
Exempt renewable diesel that meets the same technical specifications as petroleum-based diesel from the labeling section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Background. In August 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) wrote to Senate leadership, laying out the benefits of renewable diesel and their concerns that federal labeling requirements are limiting its use in California.
Currently, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) labeling regulations require fuel dispensers with diesel fuel blended with biomass-based diesel fuel (renewable diesel) in concentrations greater than 20% by volume to be labeled with the exact concentration of renewable diesel at the time of the fueling event.
CARB and CEC explained:
It is infeasible for many operators of fueling stations (gas stations, truck stops, card-locks, etc.) to determine the exact concentration of renewable diesel that will be dispensed and to create a new pump dispenser label for each new fuel delivery.
… Further, given the fungible nature of renewable diesel with petroleum diesel and the fact that it has no bearing on performance the current requirements serve as an artificial barrier to using higher levels of renewable diesel. As such, we are losing an opportunity to deliver needed public health and climate benefits associated with using higher levels of renewable diesel.
In California, use of renewable diesel has grown by 528% between 2013 and 2019. In 2019, it displaced 618 million gallons of conventional diesel.