RFA urges EPA to act now on ‘litany’ of RFS issues

-The Hagstrom Report

With the Renewable Fuel Standard emerging as a competitive issue in the presidential campaigns, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper urged Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler to act quickly on what Cooper called a “litany” of decisions on ethanol.

There have been signals that the Trump administration doesn’t plan to make decisions on small refinery exemptions to the RFS or issue volumetric requirements until after the November election.

In the letter, Cooper wrote, “By disregarding statutory deadlines, flouting court decisions, and failing to make timely decisions, the Environmental Protection Agency is undermining predictability and confidence in the renewable fuels market and abetting longtime opponents of the RFS who perpetually seek to destabilize the program. Consequently, I write today imploring EPA to swiftly resolve a litany of unsettled RFS matters in a manner that is consistent with both the purpose of the Clean Air Act and the spirit of President Trump’s commitments.”

Cooper cited five areas on which he says EPA decisions need to be made immediately:

▪ Adopting the Tenth Circuit Court decision on small refinery exemptions nationwide.

▪ Denying all 67 pending so-called “gap year” refinery waiver petitions (for compliance years 2011-2018).

▪ Deciding the 31 pending petitions for 2019 and 2020 SREs according to the Tenth Circuit Court criteria.

▪ Publishing the proposed rule for 2021 renewable volume obligations.

▪ Restoring the 500-million-gallon conventional renewable fuel volume that was illegally waived from the 2016 RFS requirements, as ordered by a federal court.

“Mother nature, international trade disputes, and a global pandemic have created a perfect storm that is wreaking economic havoc across Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and countless other Midwest states,” Cooper concluded. “Today, more than ever, farmers need the certainty and stability that the RFS was intended to provide. … These actions will return integrity to the RFS and uphold the commitments of President Trump.”