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

NBB Opposes Waiver of 2020 RFS Volumes

Apr 16, 2020, 4:31 PM
Waiver would harm the biodiesel industry, hurt Texas and Louisiana workers


 Contact: Paul Winters

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today strongly opposed petitions from five state governors to waive 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes. The petitions were submitted by Govs. John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Greg Abbott (R-TX), Gary Herbert (R-UT), Kevin Stitt (R-OK), and Mark Gordon (R-WY). A waiver of RFS volumes set more than a year in advance would severely harm the biodiesel industry. Texas and Louisiana are two of the top states in producing biodiesel and renewable diesel; an RFS waiver would particularly hurt tens of thousands of workers in the two states.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's VP of Federal Affairs, said, "NBB and its members condemn the oil industry's attempt to use the current national emergency as an excuse to undermine the RFS. The waiver sought by the oil state governors would devastate renewable fuel producers, cost essential critical infrastructure jobs in multiple states, reduce incomes for soybean farmers, and lead to dirtier air and higher carbon emissions.

"EPA long ago established that waiver petitions must demonstrate that the RFS is the direct cause of severe economic harm. Federal courts have upheld that interpretation. The refining sector's current economic challenges stem from state and federal stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19 along with the international crude oil price war; they have nothing to do with the RFS.

"The fact is the decline in transportation fuel demand hurts refiners and biofuel producers equally. Refiners' RFS obligations are set as a percentage of the fossil fuel they produce or import, which means that lower fuel demand directly reduces the amount of renewable fuel they blend. Additionally, EPA has consistently demonstrated that refiners recoup the costs of any credits they purchase."

Waiving the RFS requirements for 2020 would be particularly devastating to biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. EPA sets the biomass-based diesel volume requirement more than a year in advance to give all stakeholders time to plan and invest. Now that EPA has translated the volume requirements into the annual percentage obligation, a waiver would provide little additional benefit to refiners but undercut the investments and plans of biodiesel producers.

An RFS waiver would be particularly harmful to the economies of Texas and Louisiana in addition to those of Midwest states. Nationwide, the biodiesel industry supports more than 60,000 jobs and $17 billion in economic activity. With more than 20 percent of the nation's biomass-based diesel production capacity, Texas and Louisiana reap significant benefits from producing and using these fuels. A waiver would cost jobs and economic investment in the two states.

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 and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors.


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