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RFA Thanks Senators for Introducing ‘Defend the Blend’ Bill to Stop Retroactive RFS Cuts

December 14, 2021

Congress, EPA, RFS


The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for bipartisan legislation filed today to prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from reducing the minimum applicable volume of biofuels in transportation fuel once the obligations are finalized for any given year. RFA also thanked the bill’s initial cosponsors,  Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).


“This bill comes at a critical time,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Just last week, EPA proposed an unprecedented retroactive reduction to the 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) that were finalized more than two years ago. The RFS was created to provide long-term market certainty for our nation’s ethanol producers and farmers. Going back in time to slash RFS volumes—long after they have been finalized—undermines the purpose and intent of the program and destabilizes the marketplace. We thank Sens. Klobuchar, Grassley, Duckworth and Ernst for working together to ensure the integrity of the RFS is being maintained and EPA is being held accountable.”


The same legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives last month by Reps. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Angie Craig (D-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI).


Cooper noted that EPA’s proposal to revise the 2020 RVO to account for COVID-related market anomalies is completely unnecessary, as the annual RVO already includes a self-correcting mechanism that causes actual renewable fuel volume requirements to adjust lower with reduced gasoline and diesel consumption.


In addition, he pointed out that EPA itself is previously on record saying retroactive revisions to annual RVOs “would inappropriately render the standards a moving target” and “…would be inconsistent with the statutory text and would introduce an undesirable level of uncertainty for obligated parties.”