ANOTHER ‘EPA BAIT AND SWITCH’ ON THE RFS: NATSO

NATSO, representing America’s travel plazas and truckstops, today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to implement the RFS deal that President Trump negotiated less than two weeks ago. The following statement may be attributed to NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs, David Fialkov.
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NATSO, representing America’s travel plazas and truckstops, today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to implement the RFS deal that President Trump negotiated less than two weeks ago. The following statement may be attributed to NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs, David Fialkov.

“Unfortunately, EPA’s plan does not stay true to the President’s promise to account for gallons that are waived as part of the RFS’s small refinery exemption program.

“Specifically, today’s plan would provide accounting relief for just a fraction of the gallons that have actually been waived and base that relief on the far smaller number of gallons that the Department of Energy recommended be waived.

“When the deal was first announced on Oct. 4, many champions in the biofuels industry lauded the President because they thought that EPA received and understood the President’s message. Apparently this is not the case.

“In the deal President Trump negotiated, EPA was supposed to ensure that it would account for all of the gallons that are waived as part of the small refinery exemption process.  Today’s plan simply does not do that. It is another ‘EPA bait and switch,’ where the White House announces a deal that, at a high level, is favorable for the biofuels community, and EPA later decides to bail out refiners at the expense of farmers. I’ve seen this movie before.

“The math here is simple. In 2016, EPA waived 790 million gallons under the small refinery exemption program. In 2017, it waived 1.82 billion gallons, and in 2018 it waived 1.43 billion gallons.  This averages out to 1.346 billion gallons waived per year over the past three years. To provide the accounting relief that President Trump negotiated in his deal just two weeks ago, EPA would need to ensure that 1.346 billion gallons are added to the 2020 renewable fuel obligations.

“Instead, the proposal EPA Administrator Wheeler issued today would provide accounting relief for just 580 million to 770 million gallons -- far less than the 1.346 billion gallons that President Trump promised. 

“The irony in all of this is that by basing accounting relief on DOE’s recommendations, rather than the actual volume waived, this proposal shines a bright light on the damage that EPA has directly inflicted on the biofuels community in recent years by disregarding DOE’s recommendations and waiving more gallons than was recommended. It will undoubtedly generate the same level of opposition that the most recent round of small refinery exemption announcements generated, at a time when this Administration has enough on its plate already.”

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