Biodiesel board calls RFS waiver requests unnecessary, unjustified
The National Biodiesel Board filed comments Feb. 18 on requests from refiners, several state governors, and an environmental organization that the EPA waive 2019 and 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes. Nothing the parties have described in their petitions meets the criteria EPA has established for granting a general waiver of RFS volumes, NBB writes.
“It’s unclear why EPA—in the final days before the transition to a new administration—invited public comment on these meritless waiver requests,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for NBB. “None of the petitions provides the required evidence that the RFS itself is causing economic or environmental harm. In fact, the requests point to the continuing coronavirus emergency as the cause of economic harm, rather than the RFS. The argument that the RFS general waiver provision should be twisted to allow specific fossil fuel interests to skirt the program requirements is particularly absurd. It is simply a ploy to continue destroying demand for advanced biofuels like biodiesel, similar to unwarranted small refinery exemptions. Biodiesel and renewable diesel production generates economic opportunity for communities across the country. Moreover, cleaner, better fuels provide carbon and criteria pollutant reductions that benefit everyone. The petitions discount the economic harm that small biodiesel producers experience when the RFS program is delayed and destabilized. EPA should reject the petitions.”
The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13 percent of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.