Sioux Falls, SD – Tomorrow marks the 15-year anniversary of Congress enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in 2007. American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement on the overall success of the program over its 15-year history, but also the mismanagement of the RFS by the Environmental Protection Agency:
“Congress was right to enact the Renewable Fuel Standard because it has indeed resulted in cleaner air, lower priced fuel for motorists, and economic development in rural America. Since the RFS was signed into law, the ethanol industry has experienced improved market share and a growing number of co-products, as well as technology innovations that have driven efficiencies and shrunk the carbon footprints of plants. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency has turned the keys of the program over to refiners, who have taken the RFS on a joy ride which has limited the program’s upside potential.
“This is why in addition to constantly defending and protecting the RFS, ACE has been laying the strategic groundwork necessary to leverage ethanol’s low carbon value in the market through new clean fuel policies at the state and federal level.
“We will continue working to get the RFS back on track while also proactively promoting new clean fuel policy solutions to further benefit our climate, drivers, and rural economy.”
Sioux Falls, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings today expressed his disappointment in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taking no action to follow through on ACE’s request to issue an interim final rule by July 1 to increase the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for 2020 to the percentage necessary to ensure that the full 20.09 billion gallons required by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are used due to the unanticipated drop in ethanol blending as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This was one of three immediate steps Jennings outlined in an April 3 letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler that also urged the Agency to restore the 500 million gallons of remanded volume as ordered by the DC District Court in 2017 and nationally apply the Tenth Circuit Court precedent regarding small refinery exemptions by denying most of the pending waivers for the 2019 RFS compliance year. The Agency not only has the authority to take these steps but must take them to avoid being in violation of the RFS statute which specifically instructs EPA to set the total RVO at a level that ‘ensures the requirements’ of the statutory obligations are met. Jennings issued the statement below following ACE’s July 1 requested deadline:
“When I wrote EPA in early April, it was evident ethanol demand was heading for trouble, so we spelled out three immediate steps existing law or court decisions allowed EPA to take to help cushion the blow. Nearly three months have passed on our requests and it appears the only action EPA has taken is to entertain 52 ‘new’ retroactive waiver requests for refiners suddenly claiming economic hardship dating back nearly a decade in RFS compliance years.
“We can add this to the list of letdowns coming from the Agency with so many opportunities at its disposal to get the RFS back on track.”