States on the East and West coasts are crafting policies to require higher biofuel blends in place of petroleum diesel, a step that renewable and biodiesel producers believe will continue to drive growth for their products.

“One of the things that we’ve been seeing over the last several years is many of the states are increasingly getting frustrated with the federal government in their lack of doing something across the country,” Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen told reporters at the the group’s annual conference in Tampa on Tuesday. “And those states are saying, ‘if not you, then we’ll do this.’”

The California Air Resources Board in 2024 will require fleets to use R99 or R100 renewable diesel in off-road diesel vehicles, which burn around 270 million gallons of diesel annually, according to CalEPA meeting transcripts. 

The decision, announced in November, was meant to “reduce harmful air pollutants from over 150,000 off-road diesel vehicles operating in California,” according to a CARB release.

“The oldest off-road diesel-fueled vehicles with no emission controls are 80 times as polluting as a similar sized off-road vehicle purchased today,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in the release. “It’s imperative for public health, especially for the hardest hit communities suffering from persistent pollution, that we reduce emissions across every category of the transportation sector as we work towards cleaner air.”

CARB also has approved amendments to its Commercial Harbor Craft Regulations requiring vessel owners to use R99 or R100 in their boats. Those regulations went into effect earlier this year and are expected to use 60 million gallons of renewable diesel, according to a Clean Fuels Alliance presentation slide.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse by clicking on our link!     

Bills requiring renewable diesel and biodiesel to be used in home heating oil were signed last July in both Connecticut and Rhode Island. 

Connecticut’s law is designed to require the state to gradually use higher blends of biodiesel and renewable diesel each year until reaching B50 in 2035. Rhode Island’s is similar, but operates on a shorter timeline: reaching B50 by 2030. 

Other states have also begun looking at ways to boost biofuel production. Missouri’s legislature, for instance, approved a retail incentive of 2 cents per gallon for diesel blends of between 5% and 10%, and a 5-cent-per-gallon retail incentive for blends of between 11% and 20%. 

Rehagen said he expects five or six more midwestern states will try to pursue their own biofuel incentive programs in 2023. He said attention from states is a sign that there are markets demanding biofuels.

“Maybe, in some ways, some of those states don’t want to find themselves on the outside looking in,” Rehagen said. “If you’re wanting these fuels that are available, you need to send those signals. And those signals are now being sent increasingly by the states.”

The push for higher biofuel blends is happening in some cities too. City commissioners in Portland, Oregon, last year laid out a plan to phase out fossil diesel fuel at pumps in the city by 2030. The Clean Fuels Alliance presentation says that this could spur 120 million gallons of renewable fuel production.

For more news, go to