WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) seeking comments on reallocation of biofuel gallons waived due to exemptions for small oil refineries:
“It’s good to see that the EPA has rolled out this supplemental rule to protect the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard. However, I am disappointed in how the agency is proposing to address the three year rolling average to ensure a net 15 billion gallons is blended into our fuel supply. This is different than what we expected based on our previous conversations with the administration. I encourage Nebraska farmers and ethanol producers to weigh in during this comment period. I remain committed to holding the EPA accountable and providing certainty for rural America.”
The supplemental rule seeks comments on whether to take the three-year rolling average of the Department of Energy’s recommendations to the EPA in either 2015-2017 or 2016-2018 into account when calculating the reallocation of biofuel gallons lost due to recent exemptions for oil refineries.
Earlier this month, after a concerted effort by Senator Fischer, the EPA unveiled a new RFS deal under which the EPA announced it will factor in those recent waivers exempting oil refineries when setting new annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) starting with 2020. Accounting for these exemptions will ensure the 15 billion net gallons of conventional biofuel obligation is met in the 2020 RVO.
This deal followed an announcement by the EPA earlier this year to allow the year-round sale of E-15. Senator Fischer long fought for year-round sales and was a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would have allowed retailers to sell E-15 and other higher-ethanol blends all year. She traveled with President Trump to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this summer, where the announcement was made alongside U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.