EPA faces major legal test over plan for retroactive RFS blending cuts

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2021

EPA in its recent proposal to retroactively slash biofuel blending volumes under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) outlines a technical and legal rationale for doing so that relies on legal precedent, and unprecedented drops in fuel consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that will be tested in all-but-certain litigation should the plan be finalized. In its proposal released Dec. 7, EPA says it will cut back 2020 biofuel blending mandates to reflect the actual volume of renewable fuels used that year, when volumes of overall transportation fuel used fell sharply due to the pandemic. In the proposal, EPA acknowledges that historically, it has “not adjusted the RFS standards after they have been established to account for updated gasoline and diesel consumption levels. This is consistent with our general policy of not reconsidering and revising previously finalized RFS standards.”