The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked a bipartisan group of senators for urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish “robust and expanded” renewable volume obligations as it prepares its “set” rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2023 and beyond. The effort was led by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), who were joined by 11 Senate colleagues.
“With the forthcoming ‘set’ rule, EPA has a golden opportunity to stimulate further growth in low-carbon fuel use and build on the successes of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said. “We appreciate the efforts of Senator Thune, Senator Durbin, and other stalwart renewable fuel supporters to ensure EPA issues a ‘set’ rule that furthers the environmental and economic objectives of the original RFS program.”
In their letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the senators noted how previous renewable volume obligations were undercut by small refinery exemptions, leading to marketplace uncertainty that diminished investments in the biofuels industry.
“We request that EPA take supportive actions to provide regulatory certainty and afford new opportunities for these homegrown fuels to deepen their contribution to America’s evolving energy landscape,” the senators write. “Through this rulemaking, EPA has a historic opportunity to not only reinforce its efforts to restore integrity to the RFS, but chart a new course for biofuels that will help meet America’s diverse energy demands while further decarbonizing numerous sectors of our economy.”
The senators also recognized the emergence of new fuels and trends that affect the RFS, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and growing interest in electric vehicles. These trends should not, they note, take away from support for existing biofuels.
“New fuels like SAF, as well as other new pathways for RFS compliance, such as electricity generated from biogas that may be proposed for so-called ‘e-RINs,’ must be accommodated in a fashion that is additive to existing fuel technologies and previous blending targets,” they wrote. “They must also be subject to the same rigorous transparency, integrity, and lifecycle analysis standards as other renewable transportation fuels.”