Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

The Environmental Protection Agency's delays in setting the 2021 Renewable Fuel Standard obligations create uncertainty for the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry. While the agency provided compliance flexibility to oil refineries, it created addtional uncertainty for biofuel producers by indicating to reporters that it would retroactively slash RFS volumes for both 2020 and 2021.

Please contact your Representative and Senators and update them on the situation through this form. As the 117th Congress considers legislative options to address environmental and economic issues, this is an opportunity to let lawmakers know that support for the RFS helps biodiesel and renewable diesel producers.


As our members and industry supporters communicate with Washington policy makers, the media, and the public, NBB provides the resources to the right and works with them to amplify these points:

  • EPA knows that RFS deadlines are important to all program stakeholders. Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers particularly rely on market signals from annual rules.
  • The missed deadlines create additional uncertainty for biodiesel and renewable diesel producers, who have set goals for continued growth through 2030.
  • EPA destroyed demand for hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel over the past several years by abusing small refinery exemptions. EPA has many options to repair the damage to the biodiesel industry and is required to do so.
  • Each small refinery exemption can eliminate demand for an entire biodiesel facility’s annual production. A “small” oil refinery can produce up to 3 million gallons of fuel per day. Its annual RFS obligation would include 20 million gallons of biodiesel, the amount some small plants produce in a year.
  • A U.S. Court of Appeals decision from January 2020 limited EPA’s authority to grant small refinery exemptions. EPA should immediately apply the court’s ruling to all pending and future exemptions.
  • EPA also ignored a 2017 U.S. Court of Appeals order to reconsider a waiver of 500 million gallons of renewable fuel. It is long past time for the agency to address the shortfall.


Focus on RFS News

Biodiesel Industry Calls on EPA to Eliminate Secrecy

Apr 12, 2018, 6:34 AM
NBB Submits FOIA Request to Ensure RFS Transparency


Contact: Jessica Robinson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Biodiesel Board submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request aimed at shedding light on small refiner exemptions requested and issued under the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

“The EPA’s decision to grant upwards of 25 exemptions, with at least one significant waiver in the dark of night to a large and profitable refiner, raises urgent questions as to what else might be going on behind closed doors,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “Transparency and certainty are key to maintaining a competitive market for biodiesel, and it is critical we understand the impact any waivers could have on the industry and fuel choice for consumers.”

NBB requested:

•    Any records submitted to EPA in conjunction with a petition for a small refinery exemption pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 7545(o)(9)(B) for compliance with the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.  

•    Any records summarizing information regarding petitions for a small refinery exemption under 42 U.S.C. § 7545(o)(9)(B) for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, including but not limited to:

  • The number of petitions for a small refinery exemption that EPA has received for each year.
  • The number of petitions for a small refinery exemption that EPA has granted for each year.
  • The total volume of renewable fuel that would be exempted under petitions for a small refinery exemption that EPA has received for each year.
  • The total volume of renewable fuel that will be exempted under petitions for a small refinery exemption that EPA has granted for each year.
  • The name of each refinery that submitted a petition for a small refinery exemption in each year.
  • The name of each refinery for which a small refinery petition was granted in each year.

Press coverage has indicated the EPA has granted exemptions to several refineries for the 2016 and 2017 compliance years, including one of the nation’s largest. EPA has apparently granted Andeavor a hardship waiver for its three smallest refineries, while their profits last year were approximately $1.5 billion dollars. At least two other refineries with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits appear to have also been granted waivers. 

“Large, profitable companies were not intended to be protected through the small refinery exemption. The current absence of transparency is undermining both the intent and benefits, including jobs and rural economic investments, of the effective program,” Kovarik said. 

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. The RFS originated in a bi-partisan Congress with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was expanded and extended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chains, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.


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