NATSO filed comments July 27 with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the agency’s May proposal on its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program standards for 2014, 2015 and 2016 as well as the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017.
Among its comments, NATSO expressed support for the agency’s exercise of its statutory waiver authority to avoid the blend wall and tie renewable volume obligations to market realities.
NATSO urged EPA to remain cognizant of the policy and economic factors that influence the biodiesel market and ultimately stand to reduce consumer demand for the product.
NATSO highlighted the delicate relationship that exists between biodiesel demand and diesel fuel prices. Increasing mandates under the RFS can enable fuel retailers to sell the product to consumers and lower prices, thereby increasing consumer demand for biodiesel. However, if renewable volume obligations are set too high, it could lead to increased prices for diesel fuel, NATSO said.
NATSO further urged EPA to reject calls to revise the RFS in a manner that would shift compliance obligations to blenders from refiners or importers.
In an additional filing that was jointly signed by NATSO, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), and the National Association of Convenience Stores, the trade groups said placing compliance obligations on blenders would substantially disrupt the motor fuels market, impose unfair and inefficient obligations on blenders, increase the program’s complexity and EPA’s enforcement burdens as well as hinder the RFS’ objectives.
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