The trade associations representing America’s trucking fleets, drivers and railroads today urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject petitions to move the point of compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) arguing that doing so would disrupt the fuels market and raise consumer prices without added benefit to consumers or the RFS program.
Under the RFS, refiners and importers are required to ensure that renewable fuels are integrated into the nation’s fuel supply. Recently, however, there has been a coordinated effort on the part of some refiners to encourage policymakers to shift compliance responsibility under the RFS from refiners and importers to “rack sellers.”
NATSO has been leading a coalition of fuel associations in opposing these efforts to move the RFS compliance requirement downstream as it would discourage fuel marketers from integrating renewable fuels into the fuel supply while simultaneously raising prices at the pump.
In a Jan. 17 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association expressed uniform opposition to moving what is referred to as the “point of obligation” under the RFS.
“We believe that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acted responsibly in denying previous petitions for a rulemaking to change the point of obligation and support EPA’s current regulatory action to deny similar petitions,” the associations wrote. “The current petitions are proposing to move the point of obligation to entities that have never been obligated previously and that are not equipped to comply. Granting these petitions would disrupt the fuels market, raise consumer fuel prices, and do so with no added benefit to the consumer or the program.”
The action by the trucking and rail industries follows a November letter sent by eight fuel associations representing the majority of participants across the transportation fuels sector, including NATSO, that expressed unified support for EPA’s proposal to keep the current compliance structure under the RFS.
That letter to Administrator McCarthy represented the first time that these groups have collectively backed a single issue.
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