At a hearing in Michigan on Friday, representatives from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and its member companies weighed in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal related to sales of 15 percent ethanol fuel (E15) and changes to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) compliance system. Biodiesel interests also commented on the need to stop granting Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).
“We appreciate EPA taking claims of RIN market manipulation seriously. But because the agency has yet to see data-based evidence of such behavior, we recommend that EPA not finalize the RIN reform portion of the proposed rule,” said NBB Chairman Kent Engelbrecht, ADM.
“EPA must change its practice of encouraging retroactive small refinery exemption petitions,” Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, testified. “We ask that the agency use this opportunity to instead address the timing of small refinery exemption petitions. If EPA finds that it can easily propose a quarterly compliance deadline in the RIN reform proposed rule, the agency should feel just as comfortable applying a similar reasonable administrative requirement that small refineries submit petitions before the end of the compliance year.”
The president of NBB member W2Fuel, based in Michigan, also testified at the hearing. “To succeed, the biodiesel industry needs signals that allow us to forecast market demand. While the RVO should be the forecast, the current practice of granting retroactive small refinery exemptions undermines that signal,” said W2Fuel president and CEO Roy Strom.
Audio file – National Biodiesel Board Chairman Kent Engelbrecht, ADM; Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs; Roy Strom, W2Fuel –EPA Michigan hearing - National Biodiesel Board