WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public hearing on its proposed renewable fuel volume obligations for 2018. More than 150 people shared their perspective at the hearing, representing a wide range of views and interests on the proposal.
NACS General Counsel Tim Columbus testified on behalf of NACS. “Generally, we believe the proposed volumes are achievable and support EPA using its waiver authority to lower the 2018 renewable fuel volume obligations (RVOs) for cellulosic ethanol,” he told the agency.
Columbus explained how important avoiding the blend wall is to the fuels market: “We define the blend wall as an absence of RINS to meet the obligation, and avoiding the blend wall is essential to the fuels market.”
He also raised concerns regarding the biodiesel market. “Two recent developments—the loss of the biodiesel blenders’ credit and trade actions prosecuted by the National Biodiesel Board—are likely to generate a substantial decrease in the biomass-based diesel imports,” Columbus said. “Because of these two actions, we are uncertain that the proposed 2019 biomass-based diesel volumes are realistic. … We encourage EPA to communicate with the Department of Commerce to explain the potential impact on the RFS and the motor fuels market.”
NACS will also submit written comments by the August 31 deadline during the public comment period to provide more in-depth information to EPA. By statue, EPA must finalize its 2018 renewable fuel obligations by November 30.