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




Oil Refinery Exemptions Cause a Crisis for the Biodiesel Industry

Oct 29, 2019, 11:31 AM
NBB member testifies to House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearing on "Protecting the RFS"

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Contact: Paul Winters
 202-737-8801
pwinters@biodiesel.org

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, World Energy Founder and CEO Gene Gebolys testified on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at a hearing on "Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers" before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. Gebolys told lawmakers that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many options to make up for the demand destruction from past Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and prevent harm going forward. Small refinery exemptions have destroyed demand for hundreds of millions of gallons of biomass-based diesel. Nine biodiesel plants across the country have closed or cut production as a result, impacting hundreds of employees and thousands of jobs across the economy.

"When EPA finalizes its 2020 renewable fuel obligations rule by the end of this year, it must fully account for small refinery exemptions, or industry contraction and job losses will continue throughout the biofuels and broader agricultural economy," Gebolys wrote in submitted testimony. "Moreover, the agency must recognize and support the biodiesel industry's ability to grow under the RFS in 2020 and beyond, as Congress intended."

Gebolys is the founder and CEO of World Energy, which owns and operates five biodiesel plants and a renewable diesel refinery -- with total production capacity of over 200 million gallons -- and distribution hubs throughout the United States and Canada.

Gebolys testified that EPA could employ several different methods to properly account for small refinery exemptions in annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules.

"EPA should also move to prospectively grant or deny all small-refinery exemptions for a calendar year before issuing the final RVO rule for that year," he wrote in formal testimony. "This practice would allow all actual exemptions to be accounted for in EPA's existing formula for calculating percentage standards and would enhance transparency for all market participants. EPA can and should require refiners to apply for exemptions with sufficient time to allow EPA to reach a decision by the November 30 statutory deadline each year."

NBB and its members support H.R. 3006, which would direct EPA to set an annual deadline for hardship petitions, as well as other legislative efforts to direct EPA to properly account for small refinery exemptions.

Gebolys' testimony is available on the Energy & Commerce Committee website.

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 about biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org.

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