Clean Fuels, ASA, NARA Applaud Bipartisan Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Clean Fuels Alliance America, the American Soybean Association, and the North American Renderers Association (NARA) thanked Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and John Garamendi (D-CA) for introducing the bipartisan Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act. The legislation designates renewable fuel used in ocean-going vessels as an “additional renewable fuel” (similar to jet fuel) under the Renewable Fuel Standard. This will enable companies to preserve Renewable Identification Number credits (RINs) in the program.

Joining Clean Fuels, ASA and NARA in supporting the legislation are the Iowa Biodiesel Board, Iowa Soybean Association, the American Waterways Operators and other groups seeking to increase use of low-carbon fuels and reduce carbon emissions in international shipping and travel.

“International shipping companies and cruise lines are increasingly seeking low-carbon biodiesel and renewable diesel to meet climate goals and consumer demand,” said Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs for Clean Fuels. “This commonsense legislation will remove a regulatory roadblock and enable biodiesel and renewable diesel producers to meet the low-carbon fuel needs of shipping companies at a competitive price. It will allow refiners and blenders to keep RINs for fuel used in ocean-going vessels that are currently being sacrificed.”

American Soybean Association President Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Illinois, added, “American Soybean Association and its farmer leaders are pleased to see Reps. Miller-Meeks and Garamendi introduce this legislation that would expand the biomass-based diesel portfolio in the Renewable Fuel Standard and applaud their bipartisan effort to acknowledge marine vessels as a new and exciting market opportunity for agriculture.”

“NARA lauds Reps. Miller-Meeks and Garamendi for sponsoring this important legislation to incentivize the use of biofuel and renewable fuels in ocean-going vessels,” said Kent Swisher, president & CEO of the North American Renderers Association (NARA). “I bet cruise line travelers would be thrilled to learn that they are contributing to the circular economy because the cooking oil used to fry their French fries is getting a second life as renewable fuel that powers their ship.”

Background: The RFS excludes “fuel used in ocean-going vessels” from the definition of transportation fuels and from refiners’ and blenders’ obligations. Refiners and blenders are currently required to retire RINs from any biodiesel and renewable diesel used in vessels with Class 3 engines operating in international waters, including the Great Lakes. In the first ten months of 2023, more than 5 million D4 RINs were retired under this rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency, however, allows companies to generate and use RINs for “additional renewable fuel,” which includes heating oil and jet fuel. The Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act would expand the RFS definition of additional renewable fuel and allow companies to use or sell the RINs associated with biodiesel and renewable diesel used in ocean-going vessels.

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