NATSO member Beth Westemeyer, Director of Business Development for Anew Travel and Fuel Centers, the retail arm of Zeeland Farm Services in Zeeland, Mich., testified Oct. 30 at the Environmental Protection Agency's public hearing in Ypsilanti, Mich., on the supplemental proposal for meeting volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) issued by the agency in mid-October.
Westemeyer testified that policies developed and implemented by the EPA are diminishing market incentives to buy, blend and sell renewable fuel.
Specifically, Westemeyer said that EPA’s Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes issued on Oct. 15 was not true to the President’s promise to account for gallons that are waived as part of the RFS’s small refinery exemption program and that the market views the gallons waived in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as part of a larger pattern of this EPA to undermine the RFS program.
“It appeared several weeks ago that President Trump had orchestrated an agreement whereby EPA would begin living up to its statutory mandate to ensure responsible growth in biofuels mandates. Unfortunately, the Supplemental Proposal that EPA released a week later was different from the agreement that was initially announced. … The market no longer gives EPA any ‘benefit of the doubt’ that it will do anything other than continuing to undermine the RFS as long as it has the legal opportunity to do so,” Westemeyer testified.
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. However, on Oct. 15, EPA issued a plan that 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.
Some 790 million gallons were waived in 2016, 1.82 billion in 2017 and 1.43 billion gallons were waived in 2018.
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