RFS Battle Heats Up

Last week, the RFS battle heated up as several Senators from the corn belt and a few blue states sent a letter urging the EPA to keep the RFS intact.

The letter comes as five governors from oil-heavy states have pressured the EPA to grant the nation’s refineries a waiver from biofuel blending requirements under the RFS due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governors argued that demand for oil has been very low and, on top of that, blending biofuels only adds to refineries’ costs. Furthermore, the governors argued that reaching the biofuel targets under the RFS are not feasible given the current prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

However, the pro-RFS Senate letter led by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) argued, “Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S. economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices and the environment.”

Meanwhile, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) issued a blog titled, “Correcting the Record on RFS General Waivers and Severe Economic Harm Amid COVID-19,” that defended the Governors’ move to reduce the corn ethanol mandate.

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