Senate Committee Holds RFS Hearing

NACS submits letter for committee record.

February 16, 2022

Gas Plant

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Today, the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) will hold a hearing on the on the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and the challenges and opportunities it faces.

In advance of the hearing, NACS sent a joint industry letter to be entered into the hearing record, outlining the fuel retailing perspective on several issues that are expected to be raised during the hearing. Watch it live here.

Like other renewable fuel standards (RFS) hearings held in the past, there will be question and comments in support of the program, in opposition to the program and how to move away from liquid motor fuels to the electrification of the transportation system.

Several senators are expected to focus on whether or not the point of obligation should be moved from manufacturers, refiners and importers to position holders at the rack and blenders. A group of merchant refiners have been trying to shift their obligations, which the EPA has repeatedly rejected.

In addition, the small refiner exemption process will be a key topic. Some senators are objecting to the process being used to rework the RFS program, and other senators believe that small refiners in their home states are experiencing economic hardship and should receive an exemption.

Other topics that may be raised include approving a one-pound Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for E15 to allow for year-round sale of E15, improving the annual renewable volume obligation (RVO) process to ensure the deadline to approve obligations are met, and what should be done after 2022 with the RFS program. The congressionally mandated volumes end this year and will be left up to EPA moving forward.

Low carbon fuel standard, eRINS and moving toward EVs are other issues that could also come up during the hearing.

Four witnesses will be testifying before the EPW Committee, including Cory-Ann Wind, the Oregon Clean Fuels program manager at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; Emily Skor, chief executive officer at Growth Energy; Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation Inc.; and LeAnn Johnson Koch, partner at Perkins Cole, LLP. The witnesses represent ethanol, oil and gas and environmental interests.