ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- NATSO, representing America’s travel plazas and truck stops, and SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023, 2024 and 2025 Renewable Volume Obligations. The following statement can be attributed to David Fialkov, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for NATSO and SIGMA.
“This rule takes seriously the old adage, ‘First, do no harm.’ Low-carbon fuel and biofuel investments that have already been made will likely continue to be at least modestly profitable. Lower-carbon gasoline and diesel products should continue to be available at a modest price discount compared with petroleum alternatives. These are good things. The agency raised advanced biofuel blending mandates and is reconsidering the eRIN program for EV charging in response to industry comments, including ours. For that we are grateful.
“At the same time, it’s hard not to be confused and disappointed with the amount of emission reductions that are being left on the table. Instead of hitting the accelerator, the EPA is keeping the RFS in neutral.
“The final blending targets will result in fewer transportation energy emission reductions than the market is demonstrably capable of delivering. Petroleum refineries that had been considering converting to renewable fuel facilities will now be less likely to do so. Fuel retailers that are considering investing in low-carbon biofuel blending infrastructure may be rewarded—but they may not.
“It is particularly perplexing that EPA is not doing all it can to maximize investment in lower-carbon renewable diesel and biodiesel for heavy-duty trucks. These fuels are commercially available today, and every truck that runs on them emits at least 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than trucks running on diesel. The final rule is a missed opportunity to meaningfully increase commercial penetration of these lower-carbon diesel alternatives.
“Viewed in conjunction with the Agency’s recent proposed tailpipe emission standards, it is now clear that the Biden Administration is dangerously overestimating the speed at which the country will be able to transition to zero emission vehicles, and at the same time underestimating the country’s desire to consume lower-carbon liquid fuels in the meantime. Anyone serious about reducing transportation emissions should find this disconnect extremely troubling.
“It’s long past time for the Biden Administration to start viewing the RFS as a tool in its broader climate tool chest, rather than a political nuisance.”
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