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.

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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




Proposed RFS Growth Sends Hopeful Signal to Biodiesel Industry

Jun 26, 2018, 12:08 PM
Small refinery waivers remain a major concern

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Paul Winters
202-359-6571
pwinters@biodiesel.org  

WASHINGTON D.C. – The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today expressed appreciation that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed an increase in the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel categories under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). While the proposed increase sends a very positive signal to the industry, EPA’s granting of dozens of retroactive small refinery hardship exemptions undercut prior year volumes and could still have a negative impact on future year standards.

“We welcome the Administration’s proposal to grow the biodiesel volumes, following two flatlined years. This is a positive signal for our industry and we’re pleased the EPA has acknowledged our ability to produce higher volumes. We’ve consistently demonstrated that we can do much more,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at NBB. “The fact remains, though, instability in the RFS program caused by the EPA has done significant damage that can only be rectified for biodiesel through consistent and predictable growth in volumes.”

Kovarik pointed to decisions by the EPA Administrator to provide numerous waivers to petroleum refiners that release them from their obligations under the RFS, effectively reducing the overall volumes under the program in 2016 and 2017. Those exemptions have effectively reduced current obligations for biodiesel by 100 million gallons in 2016 and 275 million gallons in 2017.

“As a candidate on the campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged he would support biofuels and protect the RFS,” Kovarik said. “While this is just a proposal, we hope the Administration is serious about growing biodiesel volumes and will fulfill the president’s promise to support and grow the RFS.”

The EPA proposed the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the biomass-based diesel category would increase from 2.1 billion gallons in 2019 to 2.43 billion gallons in 2020. The advanced biofuel category, for which biodiesel also qualifies, would also increase slightly from 4.29 billion gallons in 2018 to 4.88 billion gallons in 2019, under the EPA’s proposal.

The RFS, passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush, requires the EPA to gradually grow the volume of advanced biofuels like biodiesel delivered to consumers. Since taking office, President Trump’s EPA has recommended zero growth for the biomass-based diesel category.

The Trump Administration’s actions on the RFS before this proposal have been disappointing for both the biodiesel industry and farmers in the Midwest, who have seen commodity prices of their crops plummet as a result of international trade and other market dynamics. Farming income has dropped more than 50 percent and sits at its lowest level in more than a decade. Recent polling by NBB shows Midwestern states were not happy with EPA Administrator Pruitt’s previous decisions on the RFS, which they view as broken promises of support for local agriculture and renewable fuels industries.

Approximately 50 percent of biodiesel is produced from soybean oil, a byproduct of processing soybeans for protein in food products. This added value provides another source of income for soybean farmers; the added value for soybean oil means they’re able to make the protein for the food supply available at lower prices.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

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For more information on biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org

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