NATSO Testifies on Draft Legislation to Reform the Renewable Fuel Standard

NATSO was invited to testify before Congress today to discuss new legislation that would reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and transition the gasoline market to a high octane fuel performance standard.

Titled the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act, the legislation would, among other things, end the Renewable Fuel Standard's ethanol blending mandate beginning in 2023, and eliminate the advanced biofuel (e.g., biodiesel) blending mandate 10 years later. It would also begin a transition to higher octane gasoline.

Testifying before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov focused primarily on the diesel market and the opportunities for policymakers to incentivize diesel retailers to incorporate increasing amounts of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel into the nation’s diesel fuel supply.

NATSO supports the provisions of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act that would facilitate market conditions and opportunities for its members to lower prices for consumers for advanced biofuels. However, Fialkov also recommended revisions to the draft legislation that would eliminate unnecessary obstacles to market investment in renewable fuels infrastructure and that undermine the returns on those investments that industry has already made.

Specifically, Fialkov testified in favor of the provisions that would extend the advanced biofuels mandate for another decade. But Fialkov strongly urged lawmakers to revise the draft legislation to address NATSO’s concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s practice of issuing small refinery waivers that exempt small refineries from their obligations under the RFS, including small refineries that are owned by profitable refining entities.

"The bill’s rules-based Renewable Volume Obligations system will only achieve the objectives of enhanced certainty and less volatility if it addresses the Program’s current flawed small refinery exemption regime,” Fialkov testified. “The fact that the Legislation is silent on this topic is a real flaw. … Any legislation to reform the RFS must remedy this situation.”

To read a full copy of NATSO's written testimony, click here.


via Business Feeds

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