RFA CEO Comments on Final EPA Actions

Cindy Zimmerman

The final regulatory actions taken today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bring certainty back to the Renewable Fuel Standard and pave the way for future growth in the production and use of low-carbon renewable fuels, and will lead to lower gas prices and greater energy security, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

“At long last, the RFS is being put back on track. Today’s actions by EPA and the Biden administration restore integrity and stability to the RFS program after several years of wanton mismanagement and abuse by the previous administration,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The combination of a strong RVO for 2022, restoration of illegally waived volume from 2016, and a new direction for the SRE program puts the RFS program on solid footing for the future. We thank Administrator Regan and President Biden for honoring their commitments to implement the RFS in a way that is fair, transparent, and focused on growth.”

Cooper also noted that today’s package couldn’t have come at a more important time, as consumers are facing record high gas prices driven by instability in global energy markets. “By requiring petroleum refiners to blend larger volumes of low-cost biofuels like ethanol, today’s actions will put downward pressure on gas prices and provide economic relief to American families facing record high pump prices,” he said. “In the last few days alone, wholesale ethanol prices have been as much as $1.30 per gallon lower than gasoline, leading to significant savings at the pump for consumers of ethanol-blended fuels like E10, E15, and E85.”

RFA released an explainer documenting how ethanol reduces prices at the pump, due to its lower cost and the fact that it augments the overall fuel supply.

Cooper says they are disappointed with the EPA’s decision to reopen and retroactively lower RFS requirements for 2020, which they believe is entirely unnecessary. “The RVO already includes a self-correcting mechanism that caused actual renewable fuel volume requirements to adjust lower when COVID led to reduced gasoline and diesel consumption. In addition, EPA has consistently acknowledged in the past that it lacks the authority to go back in time and reopen annual RVOs that have already been finalized and implemented.”

Listen to Cooper’s comments on the EPA announcement and also USDA’s announcement that COVID recovery payments for biofuels producers for losses incurred in 2020 are finally going out to producers.
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper (7:32)

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