American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says he is disappointed in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to issue an interim final rule by July 1 to increase the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for 2020 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.
“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,” said Jennings. “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.”