EPA Waivers Make Deep Cuts in RFS

Source: By CINDY ZIMMERMAN, Agwired.com • Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The latest data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows just how much the small refiner exemptions have resulted in demand destruction, even more than estimated just a few months ago.

According to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) updated from April, the waivers have resulted in “effectively lowering the 2017 required volume of renewable fuels by 1.37 billion gallons, or 7%. The data also show that small refiner exemptions also effectively reduced the 2016 RFS requirement by 523 million gallons.”

After effectively reducing the 2013-2015 RFS blending obligations by a combined total of about 165 million gallons, EPA essentially slashed the 2016 RFS volume by 523 million gallons and the 2017 RFS by 1.365 billion gallons. Collectively, the amount of lost blending obligations in 2016-2017 is 11 times the collective lost obligations from 2013-2015.

EPA has ignored repeated requests to provide information regarding the number and magnitude of its small refiner exemptions, but the agency’s monthly compliance data shows the impact of the exemptions. With the resignation of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, industry stakeholders are hoping his acting successor Andrew Wheeler will be less generous with his granting of waivers going forward.