American Biogas Council commends Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act

June 21, 2019. The American Biogas Council (ABC) commends the recent bipartisan and bicameral efforts led by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representatives Colin Peterson (D-MN) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) to address continued issues related to the Small Refiner Waiver process by introducing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019 in both the House and Senate. The legislation will set a deadline for small refineries to petition for RFS hardship exemptions of June 1st of each year. The bill will also require the Environmental Protection Agency to accurately account for the exempted gallons in the Renewable Volume Obligations which it finalizes each November.  

   “As the American Biogas Council and many others have pointed out, the Administration’s indiscriminate, frequent granting of small refinery exemptions is killing the ability for the RFS market to work as Congress intended. These exemptions have eliminated 2.6 billion gallons of demand in the RFS in just one year. We need a more transparent and accountable process so only the refineries who truly have a hardship receive waivers,” said Patrick Serfass, ABC Executive Director. “For the past two years, the Administration and EPA have been undermining the RFS at an alarming rate.  This legislation will ensure that the EPA follows the law and fulfills its responsibilities.” 

   The RFS Integrity Act of 2019 contains a number of elements to ensure EPA acts in a more transparent manner. It requires that small refineries petition for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) hardship exemptions by June 1 each year. It would make information the petitioner files with the EPA subject to public disclosure and require the EPA to publish the petitioner’s name, name and location of the facility for which relief was requested, and the reason and time period for the request.

   “We are grateful to these Senate and House leaders for taking this important step, which supports the biogas and renewable fuels industries,” continued Serfass. “We hope Congress can pass this legislation quickly so that the integrity of the RFS program can be restored.”

   Over 85% of the gallons in the cellulosic category of the RFS are satisfied using biogas.