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NEB Comments on Latest EPA "Hardship Waivers" -- Notable Quote
RPA, Nebraska Ethanol Board
Date: 2019-08-14
"Over the past two years, the EPA has granted hardship waivers to refineries owned by companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Their continued handouts to the oil industry comes during a time when heartland farmers are really struggling due to depressed commodity prices, flooding and trade wars. Securing access and demand for homegrown, cleaner-burning biofuels should be top priority from an economic and environmental standpoint, not destroying the marketplace program the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created for." -- Roger Berry, Administrator, Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB).

Berry was speaking in Lincoln, Nebraska on the EPA's granting of an additional 31 small refinery biofuel waivers for 2018. This follows the 54 waivers the Trump Administration granted in 2016 and 2017, which caused 2.6 billion gallons of demand destruction. These new waivers add another loss of 1.4 billion gallons, for a total loss of 4 billion gallons. Contact: Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, (402) 471-2941, ethanol.nebraska.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Nebraska Ethanol Board news,  Ethanol news,  EPA news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


NBB Condemns EPA's Latest RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-08-12
"Less than two months after vowing to always protect and defend American farmers, President Trump is bowing to oil industry pressure and allowing his EPA to dismantle the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, force U.S. biodiesel producers out of business, and undermine the farm economy. EPA and administration personnel are well aware that the ongoing spree of big oil exemptions destroy demand for biodiesel and render the RFS program meaningless.

"Biodiesel producers are already shutting down facilities and laying off workers, due to loss of demand. The ongoing demand destruction will undercut the industry's investments and choke off markets for surplus agricultural oils, adding to the economic hardship that farmers are facing. The Trump administration's action represents a fundamental betrayal of previous promises to farmers and the agricultural economy." (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 10 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  EPA,  RFS,  


MORE Small Refinery "Hardship" Waivers Announced (Ind. Report)
EPA,RFS,Renewable Fuels Association,American Coalition of Ethanol
Date: 2019-08-12
On Friday the 9th, the Trump administration EPA, under the administration of former coal industry lobbyist Andrew R, Wheeler, granted 31 more controversial "hardship waivers" allowing refiners to ignore Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ethanol blending requirements in what might be construed as the administration's and the agency's attempt to bury the RFS in blatant favor of Big Oil. The agency denied 6 waiver requests and left one additional waiver request undecided.

Needless to say, the President has yet again misled his supporters and the biofuels industry -- along with just about everyone else both domestic and foreign. In response, ethanol and biofuels players and industry organizations wasted no time in venting their rightful outrage.

"The Trump Administration's approval of 31 refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard is just devastating news for our industry. With this action, President Trump has destroyed over a billion gallons of biofuel demand and broken his promise to Iowa voters to protect the RFS. The vast majority of these exemptions are not justified under the law. Since this news began to leak this afternoon, RFS credit prices have freefallen to nearly zero, destroying much of the incentive to blend an incremental gallon of ethanol." -- Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Exec. Dir.,

"At a time when ethanol plants in the Heartland are being mothballed and jobs are being lost, it is unfathomable and utterly reprehensible that the Trump Administration would dole out more unwarranted waivers to prosperous petroleum refiners. Today's announcement comes as a total shock, as just two months ago Trump himself heard directly from Iowa farmers and ethanol plant workers about the disastrous economic impacts of these small refinery handouts. In response, he (Trump) told us he would 'look into it' and we believed that would lead to the White House and EPA finally putting an end to these devastating waivers. Instead, the Trump administration chose to double down on the exemptions, greatly exacerbating the economic pain being felt in rural America and further stressing an industry already on life support." -- Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, Renewable Fuels Association.

"EPA's refiner-win-at-all-costs oversight of the RFS is doing real damage to America's farmers and renewable fuel producers who are already suffering from trade wars and volatile markets. The RFS is supposed to ensure the use of ethanol and biodiesel increases from one year to the next, but 85 Small Refinery Exemptions later and over 3 billion waived gallons represents an enormous step backwards." -- Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition of Ethanol.

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: Various Media, AgPro, 9 Aug., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org; Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org; American Coalition of Ethanol, www.ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  Renewable Fuels Association,  ,  


Ameresco Advocates for Renewable Natural Gas (Ind. Report)
Ameresco
Date: 2019-08-02
In testimony at recent EPA hearings on 2020 Renewable Fuel Volume Standards and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), Framingham, Mass.-based RBG developer and renewables and energy efficiency specialist Ameresco, Inc. Senior Project Manager Jeff Stander noted -- "We strongly encourage the EPA to set the 2020 cellulosic biofuel RVO to account for at least 650 million gallons of RNG."

Stander led the 2018 development of Ameresco's RNG production facility at the Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan and was one of several industry experts representing the RNG Coalition at the EPA public hearing on July 31 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the EPA's proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2020, according to the release.

Ameresco has developed 39 beneficial use projects involving biogas at wastewater treatment plants and landfills, including three RNG facilities in Arizona, Michigan and Texas that participate in the RFS program. The RNG facilities generate D3 Cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) and provide transportation fuel that is injected into the natural gas pipeline grid.

Since 2014, the EPA has recognized the use of RNG to meet fuel volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RNG makes up more than 95 pct of the renewable fuel used to meet the RFS cellulosic biofuel requirement, according to the Ameresco release. (Source: Ameresco, PR, 31 July, 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Jeff Stander, Senior Project Developer, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  RNG,  RFS,  


EPA Ignored DOE in Issuing RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2019-07-29
Contrary to assertions by the EPA the U.S. DOE confirmed in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that EPA issued so-called economic "hardship" exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to small refineries, often owned by billion-dollar oil companies, even when DOE found that the refineries faced little or no actual "hardship."

In a response to an April 10 letter from Grassley, Energy Secretary Rick Perry indicated that EPA had, on at least one occasion, issued an exemption when his department recommended no exemption and ignored recommendations to grant only partial exemptions in other cases. Perry also noted that the agency has not changed how these analyses are applied or scored from the prior Obama Administration.

Perry also noted that he was aware of instances in which DOE recommended a partial or even no exemption for certain refineries, yet EPA subsequently granted a full exemption. This contradicts former oil industry lobbyist and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's claim before Congress that EPA simply followed DOE's recommendations.

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 Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was been denied. (Source: DOE, FeedStuff, 29 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Pruitt,  


EPA Releases 2020 RVOs Proposal (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
EPA, RVO
Date: 2019-07-24
The US EPA's recently proposed 2020 and 2012 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) require 91 billion litres of renewable fuels to be blended into the US fuel supply in 2020, up from 90.5bn litres in 2019 -- 23 billion litres of advanced biofuels, 11 billion litres of biomass-based diesel - which was set last year and is the same for 2021, and 2.4 billion litres of cellulosic biofuel -- up 545 million litres from the 2019 figure.

The proposed RVO would require biofuels to make up 10.92 pct of US transportation fuel, including 2.75 pct advanced biofuels, 1.99 pct biomass-based diesel and 0.29 pct cellulosic biofuel.

The rule making also proposed amendments to the RFS regulations including: clarification of diesel RVO calculations; pathway petition conditions; a biodiesel esterification pathway; distillers corn oil and distillers oil pathways; renewable fuel exporter provisions allowing the production of biomass-based diesel from separated food waste; flexibilities for renewable fuel blending for military use; heating oil used for cooling; RFS facility ownership changes; additional registration deactivation justifications; a new Renewable Identification Number (RIN) retirement; a new pathway for co-processing biomass with petroleum to produce cellulosic diesel, jet fuel and heating oil; public access to information; and other revisions. The amendments came as part of the as yet finalized Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule. (Source: EPA, Oils & Fats Int'l., 22 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  RVO,  Biofuel Blend,  


Backlash on Proposed RFS RVOs (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-07-24
"By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the EPA's proposed 2020 RVOs completely betray President [Donald] Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the RFS.

"EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law." -- Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

"We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule. If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the RVO numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers' bottom line." -- Lynn Chrisp, Pres., National Corn Growers Association, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com (Source: RFA, NCGA, Various Media, EHS, 23 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RVO,  RFS,  NCGA,  "Hardship Waiver",  


Small Refiners Threaten "Hardship Waivers" Legal Action (Ind. Report)
EPA
Date: 2019-07-19
In Washington, Reuters is reporting a coalition of small U.S. refineries are planning on legal action against the the US EPA unless the agency issues issue its decisions on 2018 petitions for "hardship waivers" from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) within 60 days.

The Trump administration EPA has more than quadrupled the number of waivers it has granted to refinerswhile at the same time raising the ire of the corn industry who claim the move threatens ethanol demand.

The small refinery coalition's letter to the EPA said the "EPA is required to act on a petition within 90 days after receipt" and that it also failed to issue decisions on the outstanding 40 petitions for 2018 by March 31, 2019, which the letter said was the compliance deadline.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, 18 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol Blend,  


EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
NFU,EPA,RFS
Date: 2019-07-19
The US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol, according to a NFU release.

In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all. "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  NFU news,  National Farmers Union news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


Notable Quote from the Hawkeye State
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-07-17
"I am incredibly disappointed to see that the EPA has failed to reallocate the millions of lost gallons due to their brazen and unprecedented use of small refinery exemption ("hardship") waivers. A robust RFS (renewable fuel standard) is essential to a healthy ag economy in Iowa and across the country." -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), July, 2019 Contact: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, 515-281-5211, www.governor.iowa.gov/contact

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  


Neb. Gov., Ethanol Board Slam EPA's RFS RVO Proposal (Ind Report)
Nebraska Ethanol Board
Date: 2019-07-10
The Nebraska Ethanol Board and the Cornhusker States Governor Peter Ricketts (R) have expressed their disappointment with the US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"While Nebraska appreciates the EPA's timely release of renewable volume obligations, this proposal does not reflect the agency's legal duty to enforce a robust RFS or the president's commitment to our farmers," Governor Ricketts said while urging the EPA to "reallocate waived gallons and ensure that the agency is giving our farmers and ethanol producers the predictability they need, especially during tough times for agriculture."

Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Roger Berry said the "Nebraska Ethanol Board is "extremely disappointed in the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) numbers released by the EPA. The fact that EPA did not account for any of the lost gallons due to Small Refiner Exemptions directly undermines demand for the quality fuel produced by our hard-working farmers and the 1,400 Nebraskans employed in the ethanol industry."

Nebraska is the second-largest ethanol producer in the U.S. with over 2 billion gallons production capacity from 25 ethanol plants processing over 700 million bpy of corn for a $5 billion per year economic impact in the state. (Source: Nebraska Ethanol Board, The Independent, 9July, 2019) Contact: Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts, www.governor.nebraska.gov; Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, Administrator, (402) 471-2941, www.ne-ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  RVO,  Nebraska Ethanol Board ,  


Are EPA's Proposed RFS 'Obligations' Actually Just Suggestions?" asks RFA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
RFA, RFS
Date: 2019-07-08
By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the U.S. EPA's proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) completely betrays President Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

"As long as EPA continues to dole out compliance exemptions to oil refiners without reallocating the lost volume, the agency may as well start referring to the annual RFS levels as 'renewable volume suggestions' rather than renewable volume 'obligations'. It is a complete misnomer to call these blending volumes 'obligations' when EPA's small refinery bailouts have essentially transformed the RFS into a voluntary program for nearly one-third of the nation's oil refineries.

"In its announcement today, EPA has proposed a total renewable fuel volume of 20.04 billion gallons, of which 5.04 billion gallons are advanced biofuel, including 540 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel. That leaves, on paper, a 15-billion-gallon requirement for conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol, unchanged from 2019.

"Most notably, EPA failed to prospectively account for any expected small refinery exemptions in the 2020 proposal, even though it is almost a foregone conclusion at this point that the Agency will continue to grant more exemptions.

"Congress gave EPA the direction and tools necessary to ensure that the statutory RFS volumes are enforced, and that includes prospectively reallocating exempted volumes to non-exempt parties. Instead, EPA has chosen to continue its demand destruction campaign that has been crippling to both ethanol producers and the farmers who supply our industry. Enough is enough.

"EPA approved 54 exemptions for 2016 and 2017 and an additional 38 requests for 2018 exemptions are pending. Not a single exemption request has been denied by EPA since 2015. The exemptions effectively lowered the total RFS requirement for 2017 by 1.82 billion gallons and cut the 2016 requirement by nearly 800 million gallons.

"Making matters worse, EPA's proposal continues to flout the D.C. Circuit Court's 2017 order requiring the Agency to restore 500 million gallons of renewable fuel obligations that it inappropriately and illegally waived from the 2016 RVO. Unbelievably, the Agency is proposing to snub the court's ruling by refusing to restore the 500 million gallons remanded volume. EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law. The RFS wasn't intended to make oil refiners comfortable; it was intended to change the status quo by guaranteeing renewable fuels would have access to a marketplace otherwise closed to competition.

"EPA appears to be selling out to oil refiners -- again -- at the expense of rural America. The court found in favor of renewable fuel producers in 2017 because it was clear our industry had been harmed by EPA's illegal use of a general waiver -- now EPA is doubling down on that harm to the ethanol industry and farmers.

"Today's proposal undermines the pledge President Trump made to farmers and renewable fuel producers that his administration would enforce the statutory RFS volumes. By failing to prospectively reallocate, failing to commit to a more judicious and restrained approach to refinery waivers, and failing to follow a court's order to restore lost demand, EPA is blatantly undercutting President Trump's commitment to ethanol, which he restated less than a month ago when he visited the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol plant. We urge the President to resolve the disconnect between the oval office and EPA and get the RFS back on track." (Source: RFA, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS,  


EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
Date: 2019-07-08
Last Friday, the EPA released its proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020. The proposal would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol.

In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all.

"At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  


Senators Want Ag Sec. Out of RFS "Hardship Waiver" Decision Process (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
RFS
Date: 2019-07-03
Following up on our June 12 coverage, DTN Progressive Farmer is reporting thirteen Republican senators from oil-producing states are calling for President Trump to keep Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue out of EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery "hardship waiver" decision-making process which the Senators claim the Agriculture Secretary has no authority. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator decides, after consulting with the Energy secretary, which refiners receive or are denied a hardship waiver, the Senators note.

"We strongly oppose giving the Secretary (Perdue) any role in the decision-making process over the petitions. We would view any decisions to further delay, reduce, or deny hardship relief to small refineries, or reallocate the obligations of small refineries to other refineries, as the result of the Secretary of Agriculture's impermissible interference. We are confident that others, including the federal courts, would do the same," the thirteen Senators wrote.

The small-refinery exemptions have reduced ethanol use by about 2.6 billion gallons, and 38 refiners are waiting for EPA to decide on new exemptions.

Senators writing the letter included Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as senators representing Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: Various Media, DTN, Progressive Farmer, July, 2019) Contact: Office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue,(202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov/contact-us

More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  RFA,  Sonny Perdue,  


Attis Praises EPA's Approval of Year Around E15 Dales (Ind. Report)
Attis Industries
Date: 2019-06-21
Milton, Georgia-headquartered corn ethanol producer and technology holding company Attis Industries Inc. is lauding the Trump Administration's May 30th approval of the expansion of 15 pct (E15) ethanol blends in on-road transportation fuels. Previously, the sale of E15 was restricted to just eight months of the year.

The rule change has the potential to create a significant increase in market demand for corn-based ethanol as well as other advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Even so, the administration continues to undermine the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) through its abuse of the small refiner "hardship" exemptions (SREs) which have had a drastic effect on renewable fuel demand over the past two years, according to Attis. "Attis encourages the Administration to continue its support of the nation's farmers and renewable fuel producers by limiting SREs to those refiners who truly have encountered hardships by complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard," the Attis release notes.

Attis Biofuels, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Attis Industries Inc., currently operates a 100 million gpy corn-based ethanol facility in Fulton, NY and has plans to expand the production of renewable fuels to include cellulosic ethanol and various other advanced biofuels, according to the release. (Source: Attis Ind., PR, June, 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., David Winsness, President of Attis Innovations, Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries,  Biofuel,  E15,  Ethanol Blend,  RFS,  


Senators Call for RFS "Hardship Waiver" Halt (Reg. & Leg.)
RFS,"Hardship Wsivers"
Date: 2019-06-12
Last week in Washington, a dozen Democrattic US Senators wrote to the Trump Administration appointed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler advising that the small refiner "hardship waiver" provision was NOT intended to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Accordingly, the Senators added,

"We request that you cease issuing any further small refinery exemptions, immediately reallocate the remaining gallons, and make public the information regarding any recipients of these exemptions

"We are extremely concerned about the EPA's recent actions to continue to improperly grant small refinery hardship waivers under the RFS. EPA's continued manipulation and misuse of the small refiner waiver authority is undermining the integrity of the RFS and disadvantaging farmers. Rather than follow congressional intent in the RFS and follow through on the promises made to rural America, the EPA and the (Trump) Administration are providing waivers, in secret, to help some of the largest oil companies and refiners evade their compliance obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The letter's signatories included Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Farm Journal, Various Media, AgPro, 11 June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  "Hardship Waivers" ,  Andrew Wheeler,  


Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act 2019 Introduced (Reg. & Leg.)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-05-31
Last week in Washington, Chairman of the US House Committee on Agriculture, Collin Peterson (D-Minn), together with Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Rep.Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019.

The Act, which is intended to bring transparency to the EPA's small refinery "hardship" exemption (SRE) programme under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), will also set a deadline for refineries to submit petitions for RFS exemptions of 1 June to ensure that any waivers granted are "prospectively reallocated to non-exempt obligated parties, as well as require that key information surrounding the SREs is publicly available" according to a statement from the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE).

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct.(Source: ACE, Various Media, 29 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship Waiver",  ,  


Candidate Klobuchar Proposes RFS Exemption Changes (Ind Report)
Klobuchar
Date: 2019-05-27
Last week while on the campaign trail in Iowa, Minnesota Senator and 2020 Presidential wannabe Amy Klobuchar (D) called for the revamping of the EPA's RFS "hardship waiver" rules governing small refineries.

According to Klobuchar, EPA waivers that allow small refineries to avoid the requirements are "misguided" and manipulated by financial institutions and the biofuels credit trading market. The senator proposed new compliance standards and additional oversight. Klobuchar also supports year-round sales of E15.

To date in the presidential primary race, Klobuchar is near the bottom of the pack and playing on the small refinery waiver program could play well in the Corn-husker State.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: IJR, Various Media, Reuters, 25 May, 2019) Contact: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/mobile/email-amy

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  


ABC Decries Indiscriminate RFS Refinery Exemptions (Ind. Report)
American Biogas Council
Date: 2019-05-24
The American Biogas Council (ABC) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration's continued attempts to erode the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by the indiscriminate granting of small refinery "hardship" exemptions:

"The continued issuance of small refinery exemptions undermines the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and imperils the ability of biogas and other renewable fuel producers to create new investments and jobs, especially in rural communities.

"As a program, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) works for the biogas industry. It has boosted American production of renewable fuels, brought new revenue streams to farmers and catalyzed investment in biogas systems. In fact, the number of biogas systems that have been built or upgraded to participate in the RFS has grown at a rate of 30 pct annually supplying valuable renewable fuel that can replace conventional natural gas. In the RFS, biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG) related projects represent the fastest growing sector of the RFS and are therefore critical to addressing the gap between the congressionally mandated fuel volumes and the EPA-lowered fuel volumes.

"But the recent management of the RFS program, in particular, the Administration's frequent issuance of small refinery ("hardship") exemptions has killed demand in this market-based program and is now impeding growth, development, infrastructure investments and the creation of quality American jobs. The prevalent issuance of exemptions has created the impression that any refinery can get one. As a result, small refineries and some larger ones, both in growing numbers, have stopped purchasing biogas hoping that each one might also be granted an exemption by the Administration to not comply with this congressionally mandated program. Due to the volume of fuel that most biogas systems produce, a large proportion of biogas systems sell to small refineries.

"The Administration must dramatically slow the issuance of small refinery exemptions (SREs) to small refineries and stop granting SREs to large or unqualified refineries. Indiscriminate and frequent issuance of SREs undermine the integrity of the RFS and imperil economic prosperity and energy security. The Administration needs to follow the law that Congress passed." (Source: American Biogas Council, PR, 23 May, 2019) Contact: ABC, Patrick Serfass, Exec. Dir., (202) 640-6595, info@americanbiogascouncil.org, www.AmericanBiogasCouncil.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel,  American Biogas Council ,  Biogas,  


EPA Proposes Slight RFS Biofuel Mandate Increase (Reg & Leg)
RFS, US EPA
Date: 2019-05-15
In Washington, the Trump administration EPA is reported to be proposing to increase volume of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel annually from the present 19.92 billion gallons to 20.04 billion gallons in 2020. The proposed mandated increase is awaiting review by other government agencies before being finalized.

The mandate includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels -- ethanol -- unchanged from 2019, and 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, up from 4.92 billion in 2019. The biodiesel mandate of 2.43 billion gallons for 2021, would be unchanged from 2020. (Source: US EPA, AgWEB, 14 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard ,  


U.S. Soybean Oil for Biodiesel Production Rising (Ind. Report)
US EIA
Date: 2019-05-10
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the share of total soybean oil consumed as a biodiesel feedstock doubled from the current 15 pct to 30 pct as the total U.S. soybean oil supply grew from about 22.5 billion pounds to nearly 26.0 billion pounds between marketing year 2010-2011 and 2017-2018.

Soybean oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil for biodiesel production, and inputs reached 7.1 billion pounds during the latest soybean oil marketing year which ran from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018. Between marketing year 2010-2011 and marketing year 2017-2018, U.S. domestic biodiesel production grew from 700 million gpy to 1.8 billion gpy. The production increase was largely driven by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandate. (Source: US EIA, Xinhua, 8 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News US EIA,  Soybean,  Soybean Oil,  BiodieselBiofuel,  


NBB Comments on the EPA's E15, RIN Reform Proposals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-05-03
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) filed the following formal comments on the U.S. EPA's proposed Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15 -- Modifications to RFS RIN Market Regulations rules. NBB respectfully disagreed with EPA's proposal to modify RIN market regulations without first showing data-based evidence of problems within the RIN market.

"The proposed RIN market reforms are unnecessary, as EPA has yet to see data-based evidence of RIN market manipulation. Reforming a system that, while certainly not perfect, is working as intended with no evidence of manipulation has the potential to disrupt and even undermine the system that obligated parties use to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. We ask that the agency use this proposed rule as an opportunity to provide transparency to the small refinery exemption process and address the timing of granting these exemptions. Increasing transparency in the small refinery exemption process is what is actually needed to prevent manipulation in the RIN market.

"Right now, retroactive small refinery exemptions are having the most negative impact on RIN markets, destroying demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel. Rather than unneeded reforms that could further disrupt the RIN market, EPA should increase transparency around the small refinery exemptions, end its practice of encouraging retroactive petitions, and ensure that annual volumes that it set are met,"Kurt Kovarik, VP federal affairs, added. (Source: NBB, 30 April, 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  E15,  RINs ,  


EPA Signals No Timeline for Decisions on RFS Exemption Requests (Reg. & Leg.)
EPA
Date: 2019-05-03
Reuters is reporting the EPA's decision relative to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligation small refiner "hardship waiver" may come in late May, although the date remains uncertain.

Although the DOE has provided their scoring of the exemption requests to EPA relative to the 40 requests that have been received for the 2018 compliance year, the agency has not yet to acted on any of those requests. "No decisions regarding 2018 SREs [small refiner exemptions] have been made," Michael Abboud, a spokesman for the EPA said. "Many aspects of the decisions for exempting individual refineries are based on confidential business information."

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: EPA, Various Media, Progressive Farmer, 3 May, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Biofuel Bleand,  


EPA Urged to Reconsider E15 (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
American Petroleum Institute
Date: 2019-05-01
NMMA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) have joined forces in opposition to the EPA's proposal to allow year-round sale of E15 gasoline:

"We are not fighting against year-round E15 sales just for fun -- we oppose EPA's reckless proposal because it will increase the availability of a fuel that destroys marine engines and jeopardizes the safety of boaters," said NMMA senior VP of government and legal affairs Nicole Vasilaros. "With more than three in five Americans mistakenly assuming that any gas sold at gas stations is safe for all of their products, it is clear that the federal government has shirked its responsibility to effectively protect consumers from a fuel deemed so dangerous that its federally prohibited from being used in countless consumer products. And the last thing the government should do is pump more E15 into the fuel supply. Instead of jamming through a policy that almost nobody likes, EPA should focus on preventing consumers from misfueling -- including better labeling and stronger safeguards at the pump.

"EPA's decision to expand the sale of E15 gasoline to the summer months makes no sense. It is clearly contrary to the law and it reverses nearly 30 years of statutory interpretation from the agency. Studies have shown that E15 gasoline can damage vehicle engines and fuel systems -- potentially leaving Americans with expensive car repair bills as a result of bad policy from Washington. In fact, nearly three out of four vehicles on the road today were not designed for E15." said API VP of downstream and industry operations Frank Macchiarola.

"To make matters worse, the agency's proposed changes to the RINs market could increase costs for fuel producers and lead to higher prices for consumers. Additionally, fuel producers who have complied with the law and have already made capital investments and business decisions based on the existing RFS and RINs program will be faced with uncertainty and a moving goal post." (Source: American Petroleum Institute, NMMA, PR, 30 April, 2019) Contact: API, Frank Macchiarola, Dir., (202) 682-8114, www.api.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  American Petroleum Institute,  E15,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  Biofuel,  


Hawkeye State Ag Sec. Supports Year-Round E15 (Ind. Report)
E15
Date: 2019-05-01
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig submitted the following comments in support of the US EPA's proposed changes to E15 fuel-blend regulations to allow year-round sales of E15:

"The Iowa renewable fuels industry accounts for more than $5 billion (roughly 3 pct) of Iowa's GDP, generating $2.5 billion of income for Iowa households and supporting almost 50,000 jobs throughout the state. Year-round access to E15 represents a long-overdue step toward creating a truly competitive fuel market, where cleaner, lower-cost biofuel blends are available to all consumers. This means stronger markets for farm families across Iowa who have been struggling with ongoing low commodity prices and trade tensions." Naig said.

"In addition to allowing year-round sales of E15, the EPA's proposed regulatory changes would modify certain elements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance system to improve the renewable identification number (RIN) market." Iowa is expected to have nearly 1,000 E-15 pumps at 200 stations statewide by the end of 2019. (Source: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Crop Life, 30 April, 2019) Contact: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Mike Naig, Sec., (515) 281-5321, www.IowaAgriculture.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Ethanol Blend,  E15,  


ABFA Acts Against Additional EPA "Hardship Waivers" (Reg. & Leg.)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-05-01
Further to our 11 March coverage, on April 24th, the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler from granting additional small refinery "hardship waivers" until the resolution of its pending lawsuit against EPA.

"Since EPA began granting these additional exemptions behind closed doors, we have seen devastating market impacts and dropping prices for renewable identification numbers (RINs). We need to stop the bleeding and prevent EPA from ABFA's lawsuit against EPA challenges its methodology for granting these exemptions, arguing the agency more than doubled the number of exempted refineries by illegally changing its petition review process behind closed doors," said ABFA Pres. Michael McAdams.

"Administrator Wheeler has indicated his intention to move forward on decisions for as many as 39 additional exemptions this year. ABFA cannot stand by while EPA unilaterally and illegally undermines the integrity of the RFS program. These new exemptions provide a financial windfall to refineries at the expense of biofuel producers and distributors. EPA is punishing the parties who have worked to increase the amount of renewable fuel blended into the U.S. transportation fuel supply as Congress intended by enacting the RFS first in 2005 and expanding it in 2007.

"For the first time since the inception of the RFS, we are seeing reductions in U.S. renewable fuel blending, and EPA's actions are to blame. Until the court is able to rule on the merits of ABFA's pending lawsuit, the agency should be prevented from taking further action."

"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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Association, 30 April, 2019)Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  Advanced Biofuels Association ,  


EPA Stalls on RFS "Hardship Waiver" Transparency (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2019-05-01
Reuters is reporting the U.S. EPA has suspended work on its plan -- as announced on 12 April -- to publish the names of refineries granted "hardship waiver" exemptions from federal biofuels law after receiving blowback from the White House and parts of the oil industry.

The EPA currently does not name companies that apply for or receive the waivers, arguing the information is confidential. The corn industry wants that changed because it believes profitable companies are securing waivers, which is hurting farmers. Small refineries owned by profitable oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron are among those that have gotten waivers since 2017, according to the Reuters report.

"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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Yahoo Finance, Reuters, 30 April, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Blend,  


ABA Asks Court to Quash EPA RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg. & Leg.)
Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-04-26
According to a recent brief filed by attorneys on behalf of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court in Washington, the US EPA broke away from Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for granting small-refinery waivers starting in May 2017 and continued to deny a congressional order regarding which refiners qualify.

The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, April, 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association,  "hardship Waiver: RFS,  


Where's Trump's Former EPA Head Scott Pruitt? (Ind. Report)
Coal,EPA
Date: 2019-04-24
Denver-headquartered Hallador Energy Company, a subsidiary of RailPoint Solutions LLC and Sunrise Coal, reports it has hired former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt to lobby against plans by two electric utilities -- Vectren and NIPSCO -- to shutter aging coal-fired power generation facilities in Indiana by 2030.

Hallador and Pruitt are urging the Indiana republican controlled legislature to include language in the budget bill that would prohibit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from considering Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the commission's decisions about rates and other issues that could impact the future of coal-generated electricity in the state.

Hallador claims Obama clean air regulations are the reason coal costs more than wind, solar and natural gas. They also claim that once President Trump and current EPA head and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler are finished gutting the Obama clean air regulations, the price of coal will drop. According to U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) US coal consumption has plummeted to its lowest levels in nearly 40 years and more coal-fired power plants closed in the first two years of the Trump administration than during President Obama's entire first term.

As readers may recall, Pruitt resigned from the EPA in July 2018 after an 18-month tenure best remembered for the seemingly mass handout of Renewable Fuel Standard "hardship" waivers to refineries, spending and ethical scandals. 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: Hallador Energy Company, The Environmental Working Group, 23 April, 20190 Contact: Hallador Energy Company, (303) 839-5504, www.halladorenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt,  Coal,  


IRFA, Iowa Ag. Sec. Challenge RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
IRFA, RFS
Date: 2019-04-22
In a joint news conference last Wednesday, Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and the Hawkeye State Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, commented on the small-refinery "hardship" exemptions being considered by the EPA, saying the federal plans to make small refineries exempt from renewable fuel rules "would irreversibly undermine" the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"We believe it is time for the EPA to address this threat to the Renewable Fuel Standard," Naig said, adding that over the last two years, the agency has granted waivers accounting for 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol or about 1 billion bushels of corn. "This happens at a time when our farmers and rural America can least afford it" he said adding there are currently 39 small-refinery exemption applications before the EPA. Refiners with a capacity of less than 75,000 bpd can receive a waiver as long as they can prove that complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard would cause "disproportionate economic harm."

According to Shaw, the nearly 40 exemptions out there could "rip the heart out"of the Renewable Fuel Standard. "If you can justify granting a small-refinery exemption under today's circumstances -- where you can buy a Renewable Identification Number (RIN) for 8 cents, then what the EPA would really be saying is that it's always going to grant small-refinery exemptions, and the hope of ever having a true 15 billion-gallon RFS is dead," Shaw said.

The Renewable Fuels Association noted overall U.S. ethanol consumption declined last year. The association also noted 48 small refinery exemptions approved last year by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as a main factor for the drop in ethanol use. (Source: Iowa RFA, PR, The Courier, 21 April, 2019) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Monte Shaw,  RFA,  IRFA,  RFS,  "Hardship" Exemption,  


Wheeler Acknowledges RFS "Hardship Waiver" Use (Ind. Report)
Renwable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-04-15
Nebraska Rural Radio and Reuters are reporting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has acknowledged that the Trump administration's issuance of RFS "hardship" waivers to boost "big oil" profits has drawn the ire of the corn lobby. The corn-for-biofuels growers claim the exemptions have been overused and threaten demand for corn-based ethanol. The waivers have been handed out at a time when farmers are already struggling financially.

According to Wheeler, "RIN prices have been relatively low and relatively calm since last spring. So that tells me that there should be less economic harm in the refining industry now than there was a year ago."

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Neb. Rural Radio, Reuters, Others, 14 April, 2019) Contact: EPA,Administrator Andrew Wheeler, www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-acting-administrator

More Low-Carbon Energy News Andrew Wheeler,  RFS,  RF,  Hardship Waivers,  


EPA Issuing Partial RFS "Hardship" Waivers for 2018 (Ind. Report)
EPA, RFS,American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-03-25
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reportedly issue partial waivers to some of the 39 refiners asking for exemptions from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The agency also notes it will keep granting partial waivers until the end of March and won’t retroactively reallocate those waived obligations.

According to the American Coalition for Ethanol the EPA's position is "disappointing and has caused a lot of ethanol demand destruction."

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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: American Coalition for Ethanol, EPA, WNAX Radio, 25 Mar., 2019) Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org.

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  Hardship Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


RFA Comments on New EPA Approved RFS "Hardhip Waivers" (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-03-22
The EPA reports approval of five more 2017 Small Refiner "Hardship" Exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and noted that two more petitions have been received for 2018 exemptions, bringing the total to 39. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:

"It's extremely disappointing and outrageous to see EPA once again allow oil refiners to undermine the RFS and hurt family farms, ethanol producers and our environment by exploiting and abusing a statutory provision that exempts them from their obligations to blend renewable fuels. The RFS was created to preserve the environment, protect America's energy security and give Americans more affordable options at the pump. These exemptions undercut those goals, and today's exemptions mean more than 2.6 billion gallons of RFS blending obligations have been erased with the stroke of EPA's pen. RFA will continue to fight these exemptions through the courts and urge EPA to adopt a more judicious and restrained decision-making process on refiner exemptions, as well as restore lost volume obligations from previous years."

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: Renewable Fuels Association, 21 Mar., 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  EPA,  RFS Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blend,  


Research Links Biofuel Mandate to Environmental Harm (Ind. Report)
Biofuel,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-03-11
New research prepared by the University of California-Davis, Kansas State University, and University of Wisconsin contends that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its implementation are draining western aquifers, accelerating climate change and fueling numerous other environmental disasters.

The new research, provides a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the direct connection between U.S. biofuels policy and specific economic and field-level environmental changes following passage of the Renewable Fuel Standard 10 years ago.

Download a report overview HERE. Download the full research report HERE. (Source: National Wildlife Federation, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: National Wildlife Federation, www.nwf.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


ABA Claims EPA Strayed on RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Reg & Leg)
EPA,Advanced Biofuels Association
Date: 2019-03-11
According to a brief filed by attorneys on behalf of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court in Washington last Wednesday, the US EPA broke away from Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for granting small-refinery waivers starting in May 2017 and continued to deny a congressional order regarding which refiners qualify.

The suit contends the EPA approved waivers for small refiners that didn't meet the minimum U.S. DOE score to qualify, and improperly considered the debts of small-refiners' parent companies when considering waiver requests. The brief also noted the agency considered small-refiners' operating losses whether or not they were related to RFS compliance. The agency also considered what small refiners might spend on biofuel credits, without looking at revenue the refiners would later generate from sales of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

Accordingly, the ABA suit asked the court to declare the EPA's methodology for determining disproportionate economic hardship "unlawful" and to strike down the agency's economic "hardship" policy.

As previously reported, "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. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: ABA, DTN, 8 Mar., 2019) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Association, www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Association ,  RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  


Growth Energy Suing Over RFS "Hardship" Waivers (Reg & Leg)
Growth Energy
Date: 2019-02-15
Ethanol trade association Growth Energy, the ethanol trade association reports it has taken legal action challenging the US EPA's (EPA) "disingenuity" and "failure" to address small refinery "hardship" exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in its 2019 renewable volume obligation (RVO) rulemaking.

According to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, the "EPA's inaction on addressing lost gallons due to small refinery exemptions in this rulemaking is a clear violation of law. In doing nothing to remedy these and other deficiencies, EPA has again failed to meet its statutory obligation to ensure that annual RVOs are met each year. Today's filing calls for greater accountability from EPA to ensure that every renewable fuel obligation is fulfilled as the law intended."

As previously reported, "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: Growth Energy, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  RFS Hardship Waiver,  RFS,  EPA,  


RFS2 Emissions Reductions Beat EPA Expectations (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuel Standard ,Renewable Fuels Association, RFA
Date: 2019-02-08
A recently released Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) commissioned study claims the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) has been a tremendous success in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with nearly 600 million metric tons of GHG reduction since 2007 -- surpassing the EPA original expectations of 422 million metric tons, according to the study. The analysis was conducted by Life Cycle Associates, a California-based scientific consulting firm, and commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF).

The study credits the larger-than-expected GHG reductions to: the adoption of technology improvements in the production of corn-based ethanol, resulting in far greater GHG reductions than originally estimated by EPA; the GHG emissions of petroleum are higher than the baseline estimates originally projected by EPA; and advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas have contributed additional GHG reductions, even though actual cellulosic biofuel production has been lower than initially projected. The study also notes that the conventional ethanol consumed in 2018 reduced GHG emissions by 43 pct compared to EPA's initial projections that conventional ethanol would achieve only a 20 pct GHG reduction versus petroleum.

Download the study HERE. (Source: RFA, 6 Feb., 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels Association,  Climate Change,  RFA ,  


Notable Quote
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-02-08
"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been an unmitigated success, helping to clean the air, boost rural economies, lower fuel prices, and break up the oil industry's near monopoly at the pump." -- Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard ,  RFA,  


EPA Sued Over RFS "Hardship" Exemptions (Reg & Leg, Ind. Report)
Growth Energy
Date: 2019-02-06
The NAFB is reporting Growth Energy has filed a petition in the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals challenging theUS EPA's failure to address small refinery "hardship" exemptions in its 2019 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking, which was issued late in 2018. "The filing calls for greater accountability from EPA to ensure that every renewable fuel obligation is fulfilled as the law intended," according to Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

The EPA has a deadline of November 30th each year to issue their RVOs, which establish the required total volume of renewable fuel to be blended with transportation fuel for the upcoming calendar year. In July of 2018, the industry found out that in previous years, the EPA had been granting an unprecedented amount of small refinery exemptions to numerous refiners. The EPA made no apparent effort to publicly identify the refineries that received the exemptions. In the petition, Growth Energy is challenging the EPA's failure to reallocate the renewable volume obligations of exempt refiners, according to Growth Energy. (Source: NAFB, Growth Energy, 6 Feb., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  EPA,  Growth Energy,  


American Coalition for Ethanol Presses Senate on EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler's Confirmation (Opinions, Editorial & Asides)
American Coalition for Ethanol
Date: 2019-02-01
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted the following letter to US Senators regarding acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler's confirmation:

" As the Senate proceeds to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), I write to encourage you to secure tangible documentation from Mr. Wheeler that EPA will resolve two critically important issues before casting your confirmation vote: finalizing a legally -defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"I urge you hold Acting Administrator Wheeler to this high standard because of the harm done to renewable fuels by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt pledged to support the RFS as the law of the land and the President's commitment to expanding ethanol use. However, while leading EPA, he undermined the RFS through an unprecedented number of backdoor refinery waivers which erased more than 2 billion gallons of ethanol blending obligations between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, he refused to reallocate those blending obligations to other refiners, as called for under the law, and failed to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round despite the fact it is a priority for the President. EPA's broken promises and abuse of the RFS compel Acting Administrator Wheeler to repair the damage by reallocating the blending obligations and finalizing a legally-defensible rule to allow E15 use year-round before June 1.

"During his recent confirmation hearing, Acting Administrator Wheeler assured Environment and Public Works committee members that EPA is 'still on schedule to issue a final rule allowing year-round E15 sales' but added there 'may be a slight delay' due to the recent government shutdown. The shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking. In fact, recent history proves the Trump Administration can expedite high-priority rulemakings.

"Take for example the USDA newly-proposed work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. In December, as Congress was negotiating the Farm Bill, the Senate insisted that House conferees drop new food stamp work requirements from the final legislation. In response, to secure enough Republican votes in the House of Representatives to pass the Farm Bill conference report, USDA put forward a rulemaking to impose the work requirements through executive action. The Farm Bill conference report was adopted by Congress on December 12. The President waited to sign the Farm Bill until December 20, the same day USDA published the SNAP work requirement rulemaking.

"In just eight days USDA was able to issue a rule at the direction of the President to fulfill a promise to Republicans in the House of Representatives. It has been more than 100 days since the President Directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round. What is taking EPA so long to act? There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him.

"The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA's existing and outdated RVP regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. RIN reforms are highly-controversial among oil refiners so EPA's proposal will likely pit refiners against each other, causing a protracted dispute. If RIN reforms prevent EPA from finishing the RVP rule by June 1, it will result in another summer that E15 cannot be sold in many parts of the country when fuel demand is at its peak. Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1." (signed) Brian Jennings, CEO American Coalition for Ethanol. (Source: ACE, 29 Jan., 2019)Contact: American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, Ron Lamberty, VP, (605) 334-3381, https://ethanol.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News ANdrew Wheeler,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  Andrew Wheeler,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  


NBB Sets Biodiesel Tax Credit, Trade and RFS Priorities (INd. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-01-30
With the conclusion of its recent conference in San Diego, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is calling for a permanent biodiesel tax credit, a resolution to a South American trade dispute and support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

According to NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen, the U.S. came out on top regarding an anti-dumping charge against Argentina and Venezuela and are now challenging their appeal of that decision. Rehagen says their goal this year on the domestic front is convincing Congress to enact a long term biodiesel tax credit. Rehagen says they also want to work with the EPA to make improvements in the RFS that would benefit biodiesel producers and farmers. (Source: NBB, WNAX,28 Jan., 2019) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board ,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


Iowa Sets Record Ethanol Production (Ind. Report)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-11
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is reporting 2018 ethanol production in the Hawkeye State came in at 4.35 billion gallons in 2018, up slightly over 2017 production by still below the 4.5 billion gpy capacity of the states ethanol producers.

The IRFA credits the increase to record ethanol exports, refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the trade dispute with China. Iowa's ethanol is projected to make up 27 pct of total U-S ethanol production.

On Jan. 4 we reported the Iowa's 12 biodiesel plants produced a record-breaking 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018. The record production is due in part to the plummeting level of biodiesel imports following a verdict against Argentina and Indonesia for illegally subsidizing imports to the U.S. According to the IRFA, Iowa's biodiesel production is expected to make up nearly 20 pct of total U.S. production for 2018. The IRFA also emphasized that the state could do even more if the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) level for biodiesel was set to at least mirror projected U.S. biodiesel consumption and not undermined by small-refinery exemptions. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


Notable Quote
Renewable Fuel Standard, Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-09
"The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been an unmitigated success, helping to clean the air, boost rural economies, lower fuel prices, and break up the oil industry's near monopoly at the pump." -- Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard ,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


IRFA Touts Iowa's 2018 Biodiesel Production (Ind. Report)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-01-04
In a recent release, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) notes that the Hawkeye State's 12 biodiesel plants produced a record-breaking 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018. The record production is due in part to the plummeting level of biodiesel imports following a verdict against Argentina and Indonesia for illegally subsidizing imports to the U.S.

According to the IRFA, Iowa's biodiesel production is expected to make up nearly 20 pct of total U.S. production for 2018. The IRFA Shaw also emphasized that the state could do even more if the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) level for biodiesel was set to at least mirror projected U.S. biodiesel consumption and not undermined by small-refinery exemptions.

Compared to 2017, there was a shift in feedstock usage across the state toward more soybean oil. Soybean oil increased its market share to nearly 81 pct while animal fat usage declined from 11 pct to nearly 5 pct. Corn oil continued to make up about 10 pct of feedstock while used cooking oil (UCO)increased to about 4 percent. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, KMA Land, 3 Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Biodiesel,  


More RFS "Hardship" Waiver Applications Filed (Ind. Report)
RFS,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released US EPA list of small-refinery "hardship" waivers filed under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), seven new applications for waivers have been filed for the 2018 compliance year. All of the waivers were filed between November 10 and December 18, 2018, when the EPA reported receipt of 22 waiver requests for the 2018 compliance year.

For 2017, EPA received a total of 37 small refinery "hardship waiver" petitions, 29 of which were approved, seven are still pending and one declared ineligible or withdrawn. The 29 approved petitions have exempted roughly 1.46 billion renewable identification numbers (RINs) keeping more than 13.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.

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: US EPA, NAFB, 31 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs,  Hardship Waiver,  RFS,  US DOE,  


EPA Waivers Costly for Ethanol Ind., says Study (Ind Report)
EPA "Hardship Waivers"
Date: 2019-01-02
According to a recently released University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) study, the US EPA's small refinery "hardship" waivers of their obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) could cost the ethanol industry nearly $20 billion annually.

The study concludes that the small refinery waivers could account for as many as 4.6 billion gallons of domestic demand lost over the next six years, along with the hit to revenue. Conventional biofuel such as corn ethanol stands to fall in use, along with consumption of ethanol in flex fuels and mid-level blends, and wholesale ethanol prices could slip as much as 19 cents per gallon on average. The study also notes that U.S. ethanol consumption stands to drop 761 million gpy on average between 2018 and 2023 with a resulting decline in gross ethanol sales revenues, with an average of $3.3 billion lost per year. (Source: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, Transportation Today, 2018) Contact: University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, (573) 884-4688, www.fapri.missouri.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship Waiver",  Ethanol Biofuel,  


ExxonMobil Awarded RFS "Hardship Waiver" (Ind. Report)
Exxon Mobil,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2018-12-21
Reuters is reporting the oil juggernaut ExxonMobil, with more than $19 billion in net income for 2017, has been granted a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "financial hardship waiver" from the EPA for its 60,000 bpd Billings Refinery in Montana.

ExxonMobil's poor cousin Chevron, with a net 2017 income of only $9.2 billion, also scored a "hardship waiver" for its refinery in Utah on the grounds that without the waiver its refineries would be "at disadvantage in this competitive market."

Under the RFS, oil refiners must increasingly blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. The 2005 regulation was intended to help farmers and to cut fuel imports. But small oil refineries can be exempted from the standard if they prove compliance would cause disproportionate hardship. The EPA granted 29 waivers for the 2017 compliance year, up from 14 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. (Source: ExxonMobil, OilPrice, Reuters, 20 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  RFS,  Hardship Waiver,  


8 New RFS "Hardship" Waiver Applications Since 10 Nov. (Ind. Report)
RFS
Date: 2018-12-21
In Washington, the US EPA is reporting receipt of seven new Renewable Fuel Standard “hardship” waiver petitions for the 2018 compliance year and one new petition for the 2017 compliance year as of Nov. 10 , 2018

For the 2017 compliance year, the EPA has received 37 small refinery petitions, up from the 36 it had received as of Nov. 10. Twenty-nine of the 37 petitions have been approved , 7 ar pending and 1 was withdrawn. The 29 approved petitions exempted 13.62 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from meeting the RFS blending targets.

Under the RFS, oil refiners must increasingly blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. The 2005 regulation was intended to help farmers and to cut fuel imports. But small oil refineries can be exempted from the standard if they prove compliance would cause disproportionate hardship. The EPA granted 29 waivers for the 2017 compliance year, up from 14 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. (Source: EPA, Dec. 20, 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blending,  


House Republicans Call for Axing RFS Ethanol Mandate (Reg & Leg)
RFS
Date: 2018-12-17
The Houston Chronicle is reporting US House Republicans are pushing to eliminate the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandating the blending of ethanol into the nation's fuel supply by 2032 in favor of a requirement that cars built from 2023 on run only on gasoline with a minimum octane level of 95.

The new octane requirement is being pitched as a fuel-neutral mechanism that would retain demand for ethanol into the future while improving vehicle engine efficiency.

Under present legislation the EPA would take over the RFS in 2022 with authority to reduce the ethanol mandate first set by Congress in 2005. Industry players have described the Republican proposal as "unworkable" especially with the possibility of Trump winning a second four-year term. (Source: Various Media, Houston Chronicle, 12 Dec., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  


NATSO Comments on Draft Legislation to Reform Renewable Fuel Standard (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NATSO,RFS
Date: 2018-12-12
Alexandria, Virginia-headquartered truck stop and travel plaza industry group NATSO testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Congress on Tuesday to discuss new legislation that would reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and transition the gasoline market to a high octane fuel performance standard.

In his testimony, NATSO VP of Government Affairs David Fialkov focused on the diesel market and the opportunities for policymakers to incentivize diesel retailers to incorporate increasing amounts of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel into the nation's diesel fuel supply.

"NATSO supports the provisions of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act that would facilitate market conditions and opportunities for its members to lower prices for consumers for advanced biofuels. Fialkov also recommended revisions to the draft legislation that would eliminate unnecessary obstacles to market investment in renewable fuels infrastructure and that undermine the returns on those investments that industry has already made.

"Specifically, Fialkov testified in favor of the provisions that would extend the advanced biofuels mandate for another decade. But Fialkov strongly urged lawmakers to revise the draft legislation to address NATSO's concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) practice of issuing small refinery waivers that exempt small refineries from their obligations under the RFS, including small refineries that are owned by profitable refining entities.

"The bill's rules-based Renewable Volume Obligations system will only achieve the objectives of enhanced certainty and less volatility if it addresses the Program's current flawed small refinery exemption regime," Fialkov testified. "The fact that the Legislation is silent on this topic is a real flaw. Any legislation to reform the RFS must remedy this situation." (Source: NATSO Inc. , PR, 11 Dec., 2018) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman (703) 739-8578, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  NATSO,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  

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