Biofuel Groups Testify At RFS Public Hearing
On July 18, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a Public Hearing for Proposed Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) for 2019and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) testified at this meeting that EPA should set the 2020 Biomass-based Diesel volume at 2.8 billion gallons, stating that it aligns with the goals that Congress set for the RFS program, the volume is achievable in 2020, and that it will better fulfill the promise of the RFS program. These statements come on the heels of a July 12, 2018, request by the Trump administration that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit throw out a lawsuit over previous small refiner hardship exemption waivers that EPA had granted. Government lawyers argued that the lawsuit did not challenge a “final” agency action, so individual exemptions must be challenged in local courts. EPA’s small refinery hardship exemptions have doubled in 2016 and 2017 when compared with previous years, with NBB estimating a decreased demand of 300 million gallons for biodiesel. NBB argued that increasing the RFS for 2019 and 2020 is needed to reduce the uncertainty that has been caused by issuing the small refinery hardship exemptions.