Biofuels groups had the opportunity to sound off to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed extension of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance deadlines during a virtual hearing Friday.
The Renewable Fuels Association voiced strong opposition to again delay annual RFS compliance deadlines. “EPA has had ample time to decide pending 2019 and 2020 SRE petitions following the Supreme Court’s June 2021 decision in the HollyFrontier v. RFA case, which left intact two important holdings from the Tenth Circuit Court’s January 2020 decision in the RFA v. EPA case,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper in prepared testimony. “We strongly encourage EPA to immediately decide the remaining 2019 and 2020 SRE petitions in a manner consistent with the unappealed holdings of the Tenth Circuit decision. And immediately upon deciding those petitions, EPA should require compliance with the final 2019 and 2020 standards.”
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty pointed out that if EPA would have finalized the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) on time last November and predicted gas volumes would return to 2019 levels, the 2021 percentage would have assured refiners their renewable fuel requirements would again fall or rise as petroleum volumes remained flat or grew.
“Instead, the reason EPA has to propose delaying compliance reporting and attest engagements for 2021 and 2022 is EPA’s own failure to establish annual Renewable Volume Obligations when they are supposed to be established,” Lamberty said in his testimony.
EPA argues that the compliance deadline extensions are necessary because dozens of 2019 and 2020 small refinery exemption petitions have not yet been decided, and proposed standards for 2021 have not yet been published.