EPA's decision to grant an exemption has the effect of exempting the gasoline and diesel produced at the refinery from the percentage standards of 40 CFR 80.1405. The exempted refinery is not subject to the requirements of an obligated party for fuel produced during the compliance year for which the exemption has been granted.
EPA intends to coordinate the timing of future small refinery exemption decisions and updates to this RFS data website such that refineries receiving exemptions and other interested parties receive the same RIN market information at the same time.
Download RFS Small Refinery Exemptions Feb 17 update HERE . (Source: US EPA, 17 Feb., 2022) Contact: EPA Fuels Program, 800-385-6164, FuelsProgramSupport@epa.gov
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National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington said corn farmers produce low-carbon ethanol that offers immediate emissions reductions allowing agriculture to help address climate change. Edington noted, "Our success helping you meet these commitments depends on EPA sending a clear and firm message that volume requirements will be enforced."
(Source: Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Jan., 2022)
Contact: National Corn Growers Association, NCGA, www.ncga.com; Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
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The RVOs for 2022 are due by November 30th, 2021, an annual deadline set by Congress in the RFS. As of today, 28 days before that statutory deadline, EPA has not even issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish those obligations. Additionally, the final "set" rulemaking was due on November 1, 2021, and EPA has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for that, either. The notice gives EPA 60 days to issue the 2022 RVO and the set rulemakings according to Growth Energy.
For 2023 and later, EPA, in coordination with the DOE and the USDA, is required to set these renewable fuel volume requirements through one or more rulemakings, taking into consideration six statutory factors, including environmental, economic, and energy security factors. EPA is required to set volume requirements at least 14 months prior to the calendar year in which they are to take effect. In addition, EPA is constrained by statute to ensure that, for each year starting in 2023, the volume of advanced renewable fuel is at least the same percentage as the volume of the total renewable fuel requirement established in 2022.
(Source: Growth Energy, PR, 3 Nov., 2021) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org
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In its Jan. 10 reply, the GAO accepted the request as being within the scope of its authority and assigned Mark E. Gaffigan, managing director of Natural Resources and Environment to begin the investigation shortly.
"Granting more than 80 small refinery exemption waivers isn't just something this administration can sweep under the rug," Finkenauer said in a statement announcing the GAO investigation.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.
(Source: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur, 10 Jan., 2020) Contact: Office of US Rep. Abby Finkenaur , https://finkenauer.house.gov/sites/finkenauer.house.gov; U.S. Government Accountability Office, (202) 512-3000,
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In its appeal, Suncor, which received waivers for what were previously two refineries in Commerce City, Colorado, argued the agency's action was "arbitrary, capricious, and not otherwise in accordance with law." The EPA reportedly rejected Suncor's petition because the refineries no longer meet EPA's definition of a small refinery, which produces 75,000 bpd or less. Suncor previously received waivers for what were two small refineries, one that produced nearly 33,000 bpd and another at nearly 67,000 in 2018. The refineries were among the original facilities to receive waivers in 2006.
According to the company's website, since 2006, Suncor has been making a significant impact in Canada's emerging biofuels industry. Suncor is using revenues from oil sands development to invest in biofuels, particularly ethanol produced from corn. Ethanol is a cleaner burning, renewable resource. The ethanol production industry is expanding in Canada and the United States. New government regulations require that a percentage of ethanol be blended into fuels to reduce the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions. Suncor operates Canada's largest ethanol facility -- the St. Clair Ethanol Plant in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario. (Source: Suncor Energy, DTN, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: Suncor Energy USA, 303-793-8000, www.suncor.com
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In its suit, the ABA claimed the EPA was exceeding its authority when it granted a larger number of waivers under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to small oil refineries. The court did, however, note "the EPA's briefing and oral argument paint a troubling picture of intentionally shrouded and hidden agency law that could have left those troubled by the agency's actions without a viable avenue for judicial review."
Since 2016, the EPA has granted a total of 85 waivers accounting for 4.04 billion gallons of biofuels that were not blended into the nation's fuel supply.
As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance.
(Source: Various Media, NAFB News Service, 13 Nov., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com
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The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB, Biodiesel, RFS, "hardship" Waivers,