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EPA Pushes RFS Compliance Deadline — Again

ASA President: 'Delaying these compliance deadlines facilitates a cycle of uncertainty'

Fuel ethanol pump VIA PIXABAY Feb 2021

EPA has finalized a rule that pushes the deadline for oil refiners to comply with 2020 and 2021 blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which the agency previously extended in April.

The agency last delayed compliance deadline reporting for small refineries to January 1, 2022, saying the delay was a result of not having released RVOs for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Now, the EPA final rule released Jan. 28 states small refineries have until the next quarterly reporting deadline after the 2021 quotas are established to fulfill them.

"EPA’s merry-go-round of deadline changes just keeps spinning," says Brad Doyle, soy farmer from Weiner, AR, and American Soybean Association (ASA) president.

“Rather than stopping according to its own timeline to make these decisions, EPA keeps the biofuels industry and in turn farmers on an unwitting ride that simply does not end. Delaying these compliance deadlines facilitates a cycle of uncertainty that undermines the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and stifles growth in the biomass-based diesel industry.”

Overall, for all refineries and importers of fuel, the new compliance deadlines for 2022 targets will be the RFS quarterly reporting deadline after the 2023 standards effective date or the 2021 compliance reporting deadline — whichever date is later.

The RFS has reduced U.S. dependence on foreign oil, lowered fuel prices at the pump, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and added value by increasing demand for the soybeans and corn our farmers produce.

Biodiesel and renewable diesel provide a valuable market for more than 9 billion pounds of soybean oil, adding more than $1.10 in value to every bushel of soybeans grown in the U.S.

EPA is currently undergoing a rulemaking process to update Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020, 2021, and 2022. The proposed rule would increase the 2022 RVO for biomass-based diesel — a move that ASA strongly supports.

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