EPA draws fire for plan to bring EVs into renewable fuel program

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2023

EPA’s plan to overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard drew a range of complaints at a public hearing on Tuesday, with some of the most pointed criticism aimed at its proposal to bring electric vehicles into the program.

The agency heard frustrations over its proposed rule to update the RFS for the first time to allow EVs charged by renewable electricity made from biogas to qualify for their own renewable identification numbers, or RINs. Geoff Cooper, head of the industry group Renewable Fuels Association, said while his group supports the proposal overall, it is concerned that EV manufacturers under the proposal will generate the e-RINs using indirect “book and claim” accounting.

“EPA is proposing to create a novel and overly complex regulatory program for renewable electricity that is wholly inconsistent with RIN generation methods for all other renewable fuel pathways,” Cooper said. Those changes might not meet the statutory purpose of the program, he added, “which is to support the production of renewable fuels, not the production and sale of certain vehicle technologies.”