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.
Clean Fuels, American Soybean Association, North American Renderers Association (NARA) , 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 applauded the bill.
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 Category 3 engines operating in international waters, including the Great Lakes. In 2023, more than 6 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.