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

Trump Voters in Midwest States Losing Faith in Administration's Commitment to Renewable Fuels

Jun 4, 2018, 8:12 AM
New survey says voters want Trump to keep his promises to protect the RFS


Contact: Cody Graham

(WASHINGTON, DC) – New polling shows that voters across three Midwestern states are disappointed with Trump Administration decisions they view as broken promises of support for local agriculture and renewable fuels industries.

In a survey of voters in Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota, respondents overwhelmingly say they support federal policies to encourage growth in biodiesel and renewable fuels use. Their support cut across party lines, with more than two-thirds of Republicans and nearly three-quarters of Independents saying they support U.S. efforts to boost the expansion of the biodiesel industry. In total, 73 percent of voters agreed.

In the 2016 election, then-candidate Donald Trump’s performance in the three states surveyed demonstrated strong support for his public statements that he would support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires minimal volumes of biodiesel and other advanced biofuels be included in the nation’s transportation fuels portfolio.

A substantial majority of voters in these Midwestern states, including 63 percent of Independents, say EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s efforts to lower demand for biofuels does not reflect the President’s promise to support renewable fuels and the RFS.

National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik said the response from Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota accurately represents the opinion of America’s Heartland, which propelled President Trump to the White House. NBB sponsored the survey.

In one such instance of his promises, then-candidate Trump addressed the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in January 2016: “The RFS… is an important tool in the mission to achieve energy independence for the United States. I will do all that is in my power as president to achieve that goal.”

More than 80 percent of Republican voters in the survey said it was important to them that President Trump keep his promise to defend the RFS.

“When candidate Trump promised he would be their defender in Washington, DC, farming communities turned out to the polls in big numbers for him in November of 2016,” Kovarik said. “To be frank, rural voters haven’t seen that similar support reciprocated from EPA Administrator Pruitt and that’s reflected in the survey.”

After years of steady growth in the biodiesel industry, President Trump’s administration changed gears for 2018. For the first time, the biomass-based diesel category volumes of the RFS remained flat at 2.1 billion gallons. The advanced biofuels category, for which biodiesel also qualifies, was reduced.

Beyond the lack of growth in the RFS, President Trump’s EPA has provided numerous exemptions for refiners, including one of the largest in the U.S., that excuse them from fulfilling their obligations to blend biofuels at their facilities. There are also reported discussions in the White House of other measures that would have a damaging effect on the RFS, including allowing exported biofuels to generate credits toward refiners’ obligations under the RFS.

Additionally, Farmers have seen the commodity prices of their crops plummet as a result of trade fights with China and just saw the new Farm Bill fail in Congress.

“Midwestern voters are desperate to see some positive signal from President Trump and Congress,” Kovarik said. “Income from farming has plummeted more than 50 percent. It’s at its lowest point in a dozen years. Zero growth again in the RFS from the Trump Administration would only make it worse.”

Around 50 percent of biodiesel is produced from soybean oil, a byproduct of processing the beans for protein in food products. This system has provided another source of income for soybean farmers and the added value means they’re able to make the protein available at lower prices.

Additionally, biodiesel is made from recycled cooking oil and waste fats.

Other conclusions from the survey include:

  • Sixty-seven percent of conservative voters surveyed in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri support higher biodiesel volumes under the RFS.
  • More than 55 percent of Independent voters in Iowa, the top biodiesel producing state in the country, support higher biodiesel volumes under the RFS. President Trump in 2016 was the first Republican to top 50 percent in a presidential election in nearly 30 years.

The survey was conducted by Moore Information with funding from the National Biodiesel Board. Moore Information is a leading national opinion research and strategic analysis firm, serving a wide spectrum of clients in politics, government, and corporate and public affairs. The survey was comprised of 1660 likely voters (Iowa 510, Minnesota 580, Missouri 570).


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