February 27, 2024

Ricketts, Brown Introduce Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act

February 27, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Renewable Fuel for Ocean-Going Vessels Act to allow companies to preserve Renewable Identification Number credits (RINs) under the RFS program for renewable fuel, when the fuel for use is in ocean-going vessels.

“This legislation will drive demand for biofuels and provide more opportunities for Nebraska farmers who have played a crucial role creating a strong renewable diesel economy,” said Senator Ricketts.“These kinds of solutions strengthen American energy independence, support American jobs, and reduce emissions.”

“Ohio can be a leader in producing more sustainable marine fuels – creating new markets for Ohio farmers,” said Senator Brown. “From ships crossing the Atlantic to vessels delivering goods to ports along Lake Erie, Ohio soybean farmers can produce the renewable fuel of the future that drives this industry. This bill is a win for Ohio farmers and producers.”

“Nebraska’s soy farmers have helped build a robust, rapidly growing biodiesel and renewable diesel industry,” said Doug Bartek, Chairman of Nebraska Soybean Association. “This legislation will open new market opportunities for Nebraska’s farmers and clean fuels producers, who can provide ocean-going shipping vessels a better, cleaner fuel today.”

Bill text can be found here.


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.