Fuel & Energy

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EPA Considering Further Lowering Renewable Volume Mandates

September 27, 2017

EPA Considering Further Lowering Renewable Volume Mandates

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Sept. 26 announced that it was seeking public comment on a new approach to establishing renewable fuel mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Only considering domestic production capacity. If EPA ultimately adopts this new approach, it will substantially lower retailers' incentives to incorporate renewable fuels into their fuel supply. NATSO opposes this policy shift, and in comments it will file with the Agency will urge EPA to recognize that there is a global market for renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, and that the RFS should accommodate fuels regardless of where they are produced.

NATSO Files Comments with EPA on RFS Volume Obligations

September 1, 2017

NATSO Files Comments with EPA on RFS Volume Obligations

On August 31 NATSO submitted formal comments with the EPA outlining the travel plaza and truckstop industry's perspective on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Commerce Department Supports Domestic Industry and Proposes Duties on Biodiesel Imports

August 23, 2017

Commerce Department Supports Domestic Industry and Proposes Duties on Biodiesel Imports

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) on Aug. 22 made a preliminary determination regarding biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, finding that Argentina and Indonesia unfairly subsidize their production of biodiesel. As a result, biodiesel importers will be required to pay cash deposits to the U.S. government on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia until a final ruling on duty rates is made. A final ruling is expected later this year or in early 2018, with a final determination by the International Trade Commission after that.

EPA to Revisit Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standard

August 18, 2017

EPA to Revisit Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Aug. 17 that it will revisit certain parts of the Obama Administration's 2016 Phase 2 emissions rule for heavy-duty trucks, which set new standards for model years 2021-2027 of tractor-trailers, school buses, delivery vans and other large vehicles.

EPA Distributes Resources on Protecting Underground Storage Tanks in Severe Weather

August 10, 2017

EPA Distributes Resources on Protecting Underground Storage Tanks in Severe Weather

With the start of hurricane season upon us, NATSO members are encouraged to take precautionary steps to prevent severe weather from damaging underground storage tanks (USTs).

NATSO Testifies at EPA Hearing Examining Renewable Fuel Standard

August 2, 2017

NATSO Testifies at EPA Hearing Examining Renewable Fuel Standard

David Fialkov, NATSO's Vice President of Government Relations, testified Aug. 1 at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing examining the Agency's proposed 2018 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

DOT Revisits CAFÉ Standards for Model Year 2022-2025

July 26, 2017

DOT Revisits CAFÉ Standards for Model Year 2022-2025

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it will review the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, marking yet another move by the Trump Administration to roll back environmental policies established by the Obama Administration.

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Extend, Phaseout Biodiesel Tax Credit

July 18, 2017

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Extend, Phaseout Biodiesel Tax Credit

Representatives Diane Black (R-Tenn) and Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) late yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation titled the Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel, and Alternative Fuels Extension Act of 2017 (H.R. 3264) that would extend the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit and ultimately phase it out over five years.

EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Mandates for 2018

July 6, 2017

EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Mandates for 2018

On July 6, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed renewable volume obligations for 2018 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The proposal also includes a proposed 2019 volume mandate for biomass-based diesel (the 2018 biomass-based diesel number was finalized in late 2016). The proposal represents the Trump Administration’s first real public statement of policy with respect to the RFS, and was closely watched by NATSO and the rest of the fuels community.

NATSO Expresses Concern Over Proposed Leaking UST Program Cuts

June 26, 2017

NATSO Expresses Concern Over Proposed Leaking UST Program Cuts

NATSO, along with a number of other retail fuel associations, recently sent a letter to key lawmakers urging them to reject the Trump Administration's proposal to cut the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) trust fund by almost 50 percent. In his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, President Trump sought just $47 million for the LUST trust fund; in previous years Congress has provided between $90 million and $100 million for this program.

Court Grants Pause on Lawsuit Over Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards

May 10, 2017

Court Grants Pause on Lawsuit Over Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request for a 90-day hold on a lawsuit over the agency’s Phase 2 emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks manufactured beginning in 2019.

EPA May Revisit Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards

April 24, 2017

EPA May Revisit Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards

Marking yet another sign that the Trump Administration seeks to roll back President Obama’s climate initiatives, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to put a 90-day hold on a lawsuit over the agency’s Phase 2 emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks manufactured beginning in 2019 while it decides whether to modify or rescind the rule.

The Petroleum Marketing Practices Act – Outlining Your Rights and Obligations as a Branded Motor Fuel Retailer

April 14, 2017

The Petroleum Marketing Practices Act – Outlining Your Rights and Obligations as a Branded Motor Fuel Retailer

Over the couple of years there have been several reports of refining companies such as CITGO sending letters to their branded gasoline retailers reminding – and warning –them not to comingle unbranded fuel with branded supplies. “Commingling” is an age-old problem for the retail petroleum industry, and one that branded retailers may often find to be frustratingly restrictive: If less expensive fuel is available, one might ask, why shouldn’t a branded retailer be able to acquire that product and sell fuel at a more competitive price?

Senators Urge White House to Maintain Current Compliance Structure Under the RFS

March 17, 2017

Senators Urge White House to Maintain Current Compliance Structure Under the RFS

A bipartisan group of 23 Senators asked the White House to keep the current compliance structure under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) arguing that changing it would undermine the intent of the program and lead to chaos in the marketplace.

Pressure Mounts for EPA to Reject Petitions to Change Compliance Under RFS

March 6, 2017

Pressure Mounts for EPA to Reject Petitions to Change Compliance Under RFS

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces mounting pressure to reject petitions to change the current compliance structure under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), media coverage exploded last week amid the closing of EPA’s comment period claims that the White House struck a back room deal with the Renewable Fuels Association.

Fuel Retailers, Marketers and End Users Urge EPA to Maintain Current RFS Compliance Requirements

March 3, 2017

Fuel Retailers, Marketers and End Users Urge EPA to Maintain Current RFS Compliance Requirements

NATSO and a coalition of trade groups representing fuel producers, retailers, and consumers urged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to reject efforts to change the current compliance structure of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

President Trump Expected to Issue Executive Order Shifting RFS Compliance Obligation Downstream

February 28, 2017

President Trump Expected to Issue Executive Order Shifting RFS Compliance Obligation Downstream

NATSO has learned that President Trump is likely to issue an Executive Order as early as today directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shift compliance requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) downstream from the refinery to the terminal rack.

NATSO Submits Formal Comments to EPA on RFS RIN Obligations

February 23, 2017

NATSO Submits Formal Comments to EPA on RFS RIN Obligations

In comments filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on February 22, NATSO urged EPA not to shift the compliance requirements downstream from the refinery to the terminal rack. Many merchant refiners have urged EPA to require wholesalers and retailers to purchase RINs under the RFS. NATSO has strongly opposed this effort.

Trump Administration Uses Obama's Legal Arguments in RFS Case

February 16, 2017

Trump Administration Uses Obama's Legal Arguments in RFS Case

In a brief filed in federal court on Feb. 14, the Trump Administration Department of Justice reiterated legal arguments made by the Obama Administration to defend against claims from the refining industry that Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume mandates are too high, and from renewable groups that the mandates are too low. This is a welcome development for many stakeholders concerned that the Trump Administration could significantly disrupt RFS implementation, but it remains possible that incoming EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt intends to do just that.

EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Testifies Before Senate EPW

January 19, 2017

EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Testifies Before Senate EPW

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Jan. 18 questioned Oklahoma Attorney General and EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt for more than six hours in his confirmation hearing before the committee. The hearing touched on a wide range of environmental topics, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, ongoing efforts to change compliance responsibility under the RFS, and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks.

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