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Associations urge EPA to set higher renewable fuel standards

Associations point to the decline in RFS compliance credit values and consequent industry setbacks, advocating for increased volumes to stimulate investment.

Airplane Over Corn

Today, a coalition of nine trade associations representing various sectors of the biofuel industry sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, pressing for the establishment of more robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2026. The groups are pushing for the proposal and finalization of these volumes by the upcoming November statutory deadline, citing significant industry concerns.

The letter details a sharp decline in the value of RFS compliance credits, known as RINs, following what the associations consider unreasonably low RFS volumes set by the EPA for 2023-2025. This reduction in RIN values has already led to the closure of several production facilities and now poses a threat to further investments in feedstock processing and the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

The associations emphasized the immediate environmental benefits of sustainable biofuels in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "The EPA should utilize the RFS to improve energy security, bolster domestic industry and manufacturing, and maintain America’s leadership in developing and using sustainable, clean transportation technologies," the letter states. It argues that robust Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) would send a strong market signal, encouraging continued investment in low-carbon fuel production and use.

Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs with Clean Fuels, highlighted the particular demand for low-carbon solutions in the transportation sector, especially for heavy-duty engines. "We are united in asking EPA to use the Renewable Fuel Standard to drive growth in the market, achieve significant near-term greenhouse gas emission reductions, and support the investments we’ve made," Kovarik said.

Kailee Tkacz Buller, president and CEO of the National Oilseed Processors Association, added that March saw the largest monthly crush ever reported, indicating robust industry capacity that could meet higher RVOs. "This growth trajectory will be put in doubt, risking billions in investments without certainty, clarity and aligning RVOs to actual industry capacity from the EPA," Buller stated.

The associations, which include the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, American Soybean Association, American Trucking Associations, Association of American Railroads, National Energy & Fuels Institute, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Renderers Association and U.S. Canola Association, collectively called on the EPA to act promptly to ensure the RFS program remains effective and on track.

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