The prospect of an “RFS reset” is a potential reality for which the biofuels industry is preparing. While the term has meaning to industry insiders, the clear majority of biofuel consumers probably don’t know how this potential change in biofuel production requirements could impact their daily lives. So, here’s the bottom-line analysis, delivered by Chris Bliley, Growth Energy’s vice president of regulatory affairs.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) enacted by Congress requires the EPA to issue Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) targets every year,” Bliley explained. “The RVO targets are simply the amount of biofuel required to be produced.”
Bliley noted that when the EPA set the targets for 2018, they were reduced by 20 percent. The EPA will now begin work on the 2019 RVO. “Barring a significant development, we expect to see another 20 percent reduction,” Bliley said. “If that happens, the EPA is required to formulate a rule that essentially resets the overall RVO schedule through 2022.”
Anticipating a reset, the biofuels industry has begun the work needed to defend the RFS from its opponents. While a discussion of RVOs, RFS, and resets seems far removed from the concerns of the average consumer, the impacts of a significant change in the RFS would be felt.
“The RFS has been a great success, not just in terms of the environment, but in terms of rural economic development, energy security, and consumer choice,” Bliley stressed.
“We’re prepared to do the work necessary to participate in the debate on the 2019 RVOs and protect the RFS.”
Many positive biofuel developments will undoubtedly influence this discussion and the future of the renewable fuel industry, Bliley added.
“The growing popularity of E15 and the possibility of the EPA granting an RVP waiver will enter into this,” he said. “Another piece becoming more important is how the high-octane levels of ethanol can help automakers achieve the more stringent greenhouse gas and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. We’ve provided, and will continue to provide, robust comment on this as well.”
“The RFS has been a great success, not just in terms of the environment, but in terms of rural economic development, energy security, and consumer choice.”
You can find more content like this in the latest edition of American Ethanol Magazine.