Both sides of RFS issue testify before EPA hearing Tuesday

Both sides of the renewable fuels debate are letting the EPA know where they stand on the agency’s proposed renewable volume obligations for 2020 through 2022.

Paul Kelly with the American Petroleum Institute says they support EPA’s use of the reset authority to reduce 2021 standards to match volumes already used, and retroactively reopening the 2020 renewable volume obligations due to the pandemic. ” acknowledges that reducing the 2020 volume standard to volumes actually used in the marketplace and adjusting the SRE volumes in the calculation of the percentage standards consistent with the proposed denial of pending petitions are necessary to address this unusual situation.”

Geoff Cooper with the Renewable Fuels Association testified the EPA’s proposed rule represents an important step towards restoring order, integrity, and growth to the Renewable Fuels Standard, but is concerned about EPA’s use of reset authority to adjust 2021 and especially 2020 requirements. We understand EPA has an obligation to reset future volumes when certain thresholds are met but we do not believe Congress intended for EPA to use the reset authority to retrospectively address unforeseen market anomalies like COVID.”

Emily Skor with Growth Energy told the EPA hearing the proposed retroactive cuts to 2020 RVO’s exceed EPA’s legal authority and negatively impact the entire agriculture and fuel supply chains. “It sets an extremely troubling precedent of revising finalized volumes for 2020 and backsliding volumes for 2021 rather than driving growth in renewable fuels.”

EPA put out its proposed rule establishing Renewable Volume Obligations in early December, which also denies existing petitions for Small Refinery Waivers.  EPA is also accepting written comments before finalizing the rule.

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