EPA opposition sparks fears for ‘end’ of small refinery RFS waivers

Source: By Stuart Parker, Inside EPA • Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2022

EPA is maintaining its blanket opposition to giving small refiners exemptions from renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending limits in its proposed “set” rule that establishes blending volumes for 2023, 2024 and 2025, sparking fears that the agency has permanently ended use of such waivers despite congressional approval.

The issue is likely to spur controversy at a forthcoming Jan. 10 and 11 public hearing on the plan. In the proposal unveiled Dec. 1, EPA established blending volumes for all classes of biofuel under the RFS under its own authority for the first time, opting for a three-year planning horizon rather than annual issuance of rules setting blending obligations for refiners. The rule would allow for steady growth in blending of “cellulosic” and other biofuel, and would include the novel provision of RFS credits for electricity generated from biomass and used in transportation.