The ethanol industry got something extra to be thankful for the day before Thanksgiving as the Environmental Protection Agency followed through on the promise made by Administrator Scott Pruitt to deny a petition to change the point of obligation for compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“Based on a wide range of stakeholder input and information provided as a part of the public comment period, the agency has determined that changing the regulatory point of obligation for compliance with the RFS program is not appropriate,” EPA noted in its response.
“We commend the EPA for laying to rest a year of attempts from a small group of oil refiners who have been using every trick in the book to change the established rules for tracking compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “This one-sided handout would have added regulatory red tape, created havoc in the marketplace, and denied consumers access to more affordable fuels with higher blends of biofuels like E15.”
“The RFS credit trading framework (RINs) has proven to be a powerful incentive that has allowed some of the most respected independent retailers in the country to offer cleaner, higher octane fuels such as E15 to their customers at lower prices,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings. “A RIN credit is a reward for RFS compliance. Companies complying with the RFS or blending more ethanol than required are able to use the additional RINs to discount prices of ethanol-blended fuels…It would be wrong to take away that incentive and give it to those few refiners who have made no effort to improve the fuels in our country.”
This week, EPA is expected to release its final rule for volume obligations under the RFS for the coming year, which the previous administration chose to do last year on the day before Thanksgiving. Thanks to the EPA for waiting until afterward this year!