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14 U.S. Senators call for EPA to fix & finalize RVOs

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Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a finalized extension to the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) compliance deadlines for 2019, 2020, 2021, and for 2022. A group of senators wrote to the EPA asking them to make changes to the proposed retroactive cut to biofuel blending requirements.

In the letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a bipartisan coalition of 14 U.S. Senators urged Administrator Regan to quickly finalize strong 2022 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO), set 2021 volumes at the statutory levels, reject retroactive cuts to the 2020 RVO, and deny all pending small refinery exemptions (SREs).

“The RFS is a significant tool for EPA to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation sector,” the Senators wrote. “By taking the above actions, the EPA can quickly restore integrity, stability, and growth to the RFS and the U.S. biofuel sector while ensuring that the program continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify our fuels, drive down gas prices, strengthen our national security, and drive rural economic opportunity.”

The senators continued, “You have stated that the goal of EPA with respect to the RFS is to get the program ‘back on track’ and provide ‘more certainty in the decisions that we’ve made.’ Re-opening RVOs that have already been finalized while setting a precedent that future Administrations and EPA Administrators may retroactively lower previously finalized RVOs does the opposite of providing more certainty in the program. It would undermine confidence in any finalized RVO by rendering them a moving target at best — and irrelevant at worst.”

Fuel groups were pleased to see the letter in support. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “The final versions of the recently proposed 2020, 2021, and 2020 RVOs will have an immense impact for years to come on not only the biofuels industry, but also on the environment as our nation works to achieve net-zero emissions. We applaud our Senate champions for showing leadership in this bipartisan call for EPA to finalize strong RVO levels and eliminate any proposed retroactive cuts. By doing so, EPA would be making meaningful progress in the Biden Administration’s commitment to move toward more low carbon alternatives in our transportation sector while supporting farmers and biofuels producers.”

“We thank this bipartisan group of Senators for their efforts to protect and defend the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “These Senators understand that the RFS is the most powerful and effective tool we have to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, keep consumer gas prices in check, and support a vibrant rural economy. RFA proudly stands with them in calling on the Biden administration to follow through on its commitments to put the RFS back on track.”

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