WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Growth Energy submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a notice of intent to sue regarding its failure to timely fulfill the agency’s statutory obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to issue the 2022 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) and in turn, the potentially multi-year “set” rulemaking process for renewable fuel volumes for 2023 and beyond. The RVOs for 2022 are due by November 30th, 2021, an annual deadline set by Congress in the RFS. As of today, 28 days before that statutory deadline, EPA has not even issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish those obligations. Additionally, the final “set” rulemaking was due on November 1, 2021, and EPA has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for that, either. Today’s notice gives EPA 60 days to issue the 2022 RVO and the set rulemakings before risking a lawsuit in federal court.
“With surging fuel costs and rising emissions, we cannot afford to hold back lower-cost, lower carbon biofuels with needless regulatory uncertainty,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “It is critical for EPA to issue these RVOs as soon as possible and map out the RFS ‘set’ for 2023 and beyond. EPA would be missing a critical opportunity to address our climate challenge, provide consumers with continued lower-carbon choices at the pump, and contribute to the rural recovery.”
Read the notice of intent to sue here.
Each year through 2022, EPA is required to issue a rulemaking establishing the percentage of renewable fuel (the “renewable volume obligation” or “RVO”) that obligated refiners and importers must blend to ensure that annual renewable fuel volume requirements established by statute are met. Failure to issue RVOs on time undermines the RFS by eliminating prospective, market-forcing blending obligations, and by creating uncertainty in the market for obligated parties and renewable fuels producers alike. For more information on RVOs, click here for FAQ.
For 2023 and later, EPA, in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is required to set these renewable fuel volume requirements through one or more rulemakings, taking into consideration six statutory factors, including environmental, economic, and energy security factors. EPA is required to set volume requirements at least 14 months prior to the calendar year in which they are to take effect. In addition, EPA is constrained by statute to ensure that, for each year starting in 2023, the volume of advanced renewable fuel is at least the same percentage as the volume of the total renewable fuel requirement established in 2022.
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