National Biodiesel Board testifies on proposed RFS rule for 2020-’22
Member-company representatives and staff of the National Biodiesel Board testified Jan. 4 on the U.S. EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard rule for 2020, 2021 and 2022 volumes. Industry representatives welcomed proposed growth for 2022, urged EPA to maintain the integrity of the program, and asked the agency to avoid further or future delays in setting annual volumes.
Donnell Rehagen, NBB’s CEO, highlighted the clean fuels industry’s readiness to meet higher volumes and thanked EPA for restoring improperly waived volumes from 2016. “During these past two years, the biodiesel industry worked hard to meet Americans’ growing demand for better, cleaner fuels,” Rehagen testified. “In 2020, the U.S. biomass-based diesel market grew to 3 billion gallons—its highest volume ever—and generated more than 4.5 billion advanced biofuel credits. Through the first 11 months of 2021, the industry has maintained a sustainable production rate comparable to 2020.”
Kate Shenk, NBB’s director of regulatory affairs, also welcomed proposed growth in 2022, adding, “We want to ensure that the biomass-based diesel volume is fully met each year and continues to reflect growth in biomass-based diesel production. We also hope that EPA continues to create room for growth in the overall advanced pool, since some additional advanced biofuels are coproducts of biomass-based diesel.”
NBB and its members also emphasized the uncertainty created by EPA’s proposed reset of 2020 volumes and proposed—rather than outright—denial of small refinery exemptions. “Today's proposal—while positive for future years’ growth—continues to undermine the industry and bow to the pressures of the refiners,” said David Cobb, NBB’s director of federal affairs. “The fact that this proposed rule opens another comment period for SREs just adds additional delays in finalizing a rule that is already late.”
NBB further urged EPA to quickly propose 2023 RFS volumes, which were due under the statute on Nov. 30, 2021.