WASHINGTON — In comments submitted to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) urged the agency to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as Congress intended, and to abandon its proposal to substantially slash the annual amount of biofuels that are to be blended with gasoline.
In a letter accompanying the written comments, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen called the agency’s proposal to substantially reduce the 2014, 2015, and 2016 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) “surprising” and “imprudent.” Dinneen charged the agency with buying into the oil industry’s false narrative regarding the so-called blend wall, and by doing so, he wrote, “EPA has unnecessarily and illegally curtailed the unprecedented evolution occurring in the transportation fuels market that was delivering technology innovation, carbon reduction, and consumer savings.”
Dinneen characterized the proposal as falling far short of its intent to put the RFS back on track. “By failing to consider carry over [Renewable Identification Numbers] RINs in the assessment of available supply; by miscalculating RIN retirement from ethanol exports; by underestimating gasoline demand; and, most importantly, by deliberately misunderstanding the statute’s general waiver authority to infuse consumption, infrastructure, and demand considerations into a provision designed explicitly for lack of supply, the Agency has turned this important program on its head, rewarding oil companies for their steadfast refusal to allow renewable fuels access to the consumer — the very problem the RFS was designed to address!” Dinneen wrote.
Dinneen concluded by noting that the RFA is strongly opposed to the proposal and that the trade association encourages the “EPA to reconsider its proposal and finalize a rule that demonstrates more fidelity to the statute and truly gets the RFS back on track…”
RFA’s full comments to the EPA available here.