David Fialkov, NATSO’s Vice President of Government Affairs, issued the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Notice of Data Availability” indicating that the Agency is considering lowering renewable fuel mandates:
“EPA appears to be laying the groundwork to substantially lower the renewable volume obligations far below the levels it proposed just several weeks ago. Those levels were perfectly attainable and if finalized would result in greater consumption of renewable fuels in the United States and lower prices for consumers. It is unfortunate that EPA seems inclined to rely on flawed legal arguments to justify undercutting what has thus far been a largely successful policy.
“Although this is undesirable, it is also the entirely predictable consequence of a flawed advocacy strategy that domestic biodiesel producers have been pursuing for years. Rather than accept a guaranteed demand for their product, and a tax credit for their customers who purchase and sell their product, domestic biodiesel producers got greedy. They have been urging policymakers to keep foreign biodiesel out of the country, to eliminate the credit for their customers and keep it for themselves.
“Today the EPA indicated that it is inclined to base RVOs solely on domestically produced renewable fuels. This is precisely what domestic producers have been advocating, but not exactly the result they were hoping for.
“Now more than ever it is clear that it is in the entire biodiesel supply chain’s interest for Congress to extend and phase out the biodiesel blenders’ tax credit. This would provide the policy certainty that EPA is clearly looking for to ensure the long-term viability of biodiesel in the United States. NATSO hopes to be able to work with its suppliers and its customers in order to pursue this and other policy objectives that at the end of the day are mutually compatible.”
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