Oil and biofuels trade bodies make unprecedented move to link together to call on EPA not to change RFS point of obligation

Biofuels and oil trade bodies have written a letter to the US’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  urging the organisation not to redefine the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The issue centres on whether to change the point in the fuel supply chain in which a party becomes obligated to comply with the RFS requirements. This can be accomplished through a regulatory process by changing the definition of the obligated party.

Looking ahead to the Trump administration, there are signs that the RFS might be on the chopping block or reformed and a major point of contention is the RFS' point of obligation issue. Despite appearances, a vast majority of refiners do not think it should shift to wholesalers and retailers.

Big names

Big trade sector names such as the Advanced Biofuels Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the American Petroleum Institute wrote to Gina McCarthy, administrator at the EPA, today (30th November).

They wrote: “The undersigned associations represent a significant majority of participants across the US’ transportation fuels value chain. While each association has an individual, unique position – often conflicting – regarding the broader RFS programme, we write to express our unified position in opposition to efforts by petitioners to move the point of obligation for RFS compliance.

“It is unprecedented for all of these undersigned groups to unit in a single letter to express a uniformly held positon.

“Each of the undersigned associations strongly supports the EPA’s proposed denial of petitions for a rulemaking to change the point of obligation under the RFS. There is no sound public policy rationale for moving the point of obligation and further, such a change would add complexity and uncertainty to the current RFS programme.”

The group of trade bodies is urging EPA to finalise its conclusion and deny the petitions to move the point of obligation.

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International. 

To read more on the RFS' point of obligation, read Joe Jobe's piece in this month's Biofuels International.

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