We are a coalition of union workers, mom & pop gas station owners, small retailers, and independent American oil refiners fighting for a common sense fix to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The need for significant reform has only grown over the last year as the cost of purchasing Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to comply with the RFS has skyrocketed, threatening some refiners' survival.
We fight for this fix to:
- Protect thousands of good-paying American jobs.
- Level the playing field so that smaller retailers (many of which are minority owned) and independent refiners can compete against large, multi-national companies.
- Protect consumers from price hikes at the gas pump.
The noble goal of the RFS is not without merit, but the flawed manner in which it is administered unfairly picks winners and losers in the gasoline retail industry and oil refining industries.
There are many actions the government can take to fix this problem. Specifically, EPA could:
- Change the “point of obligation,” so that the responsibility for complying with the program is proportional with a company’s physical ability to blend ethanol and other biofuels into gasoline and diesel.
- Eliminate the de facto foreign biodiesel mandate. The law currently mandates more biodiesel than domestic biodiesel producers can make, resulting in a de facto foreign biodiesel mandate. EPA can reduce the biodiesel requirement to a level more reflective of actual domestic production.
- Allow RINs attached to exported biofuel to be used for RFS compliance. Right now, these credits have to be retired when the biofuel they are attached to is exported. However, RINs attached to imported biofuel can be used for RFS compliance. If EPA clarified that all biofuels manufactured in the U.S. and exported can generate RINs that can be used for RFS compliance, it would add significant liquidity to the RINs program, boost biofuel exports and lower refiners’ and consumers’ costs.
- Lower the overall volume of biofuel required to a level all engines and infrastructure can safely handle. This will lower the overall demand for credits and alleviate the cost.
- Create other safety valves to control runaway RIN costs that threaten American jobs.
EPA can and should act expeditiously on any or all of these initiatives, which can be achieved via regulatory rulemaking. Advancing any of these measures will save refining jobs. Allowing biofuel exports to fully participate in the RFS alone would create more jobs due to increased biofuels productions, increased capital investment in biofuel facilities here at home, increased domestic corn consumption, and a lower trade deficit. This would help extend U.S. energy dominance to the renewable fuels arena, and should be a boon to farmers and biofuel producers alike.