WASHINGTON, DC – The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today thanked Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Thune (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for introducing legislation (S. 1840) that would require small refineries to petition for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) hardship exemptions by June 1 each year. The legislation would further require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly account for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) it sets each November.
“NBB and its members appreciate Senators Deb Fischer and Tammy Duckworth for their bipartisan effort to end EPA’s rampant use of small refinery exemptions to undermine the RFS program, along with biofuel producers and feedstock providers,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs. “The legislation highlights the fact that EPA’s actions on small refinery exemptions is inconsistent with President Donald Trump’s support for the RFS.”
Kovarik continued, “Over the past two years, EPA retroactively granted RFS hardship exemptions to nearly every refiner that asked. When EPA issues retroactive small refinery exemptions and refuses to account for the lost gallons in annual volumes, it actively undercuts the RFS program. The exemptions handed out last year for 2015, 2016 and 2017 destroyed demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel.”
EPA’s retroactive exemptions for 2015, 2016, and 2017 reduced compliance with the RFS volumes for those years. NBB conservatively estimates the demand destruction at 364 million gallons of biomass-based diesel. University of Illinois Economist Scott Irwin estimates the economic harm to U.S. biodiesel producers at $7.7 billion dollars.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.