The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday additional extensions for oil refiners to comply with already delayed Renewable Fuel Standard obligations from 2019 and 2020, which were previously extended in April, further frustrating biofuels organizations still waiting for the agency to issue 2021 and 2022 RFS rules or the 2023 volumes or announced decisions on pending small refinery exemptions.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says it’s long past time for refiners to demonstrate compliance with their 2019 and 2020 renewable volume obligations. “There’s no good reason for EPA to kick the can down the road again, which only adds uncertainty and instability to the marketplace. Refiners and the EPA need to respect and meet deadlines, and we likewise call on EPA to immediately publish the long-overdue renewable volume obligations for 2021 and 2022. We had hoped things would be different under this administration, but EPA continues to miss its deadlines and create confusion in the marketplace.”
Cooper spoke to farm broadcasters meeting in Kansas City Thursday about this and other issues the ethanol industry is facing.
Interview with RFA CEO Geoff Cooper (10:50)
American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings was also at NAFB Thursday where he said the announcement from EPA is an enormous disappointment. “It’s hard at this stage to hide the frustration we have with the EPA,” said Jennings. “There’s a growing sense of frustration that the RFS continues to be mismanaged, (and) politicized.”
Listen to an interview with Jennings from NAFB here:
Interview with ACE CEO Brian Jennings (6:18)
National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik added, “The Biden administration and EPA are sending the wrong signals on fuel availability and gas prices. The uncertainty they are creating for the RFS will undermine biodiesel and renewable diesel producers, blow up demand for cleaner fuels, and derail the nation’s progress toward carbon reductions. This is simply a gift to refiners who have ignored the RFS obligations for more than a year and a half and are demanding the administration bail them out. EPA needs to finalize RFS rules now.”