Just as the biofuels industry in the United States continues to lament the EPA's latest Renewable Fuel Standard action that by most accounts falls short of industry expectations when accounting for small-refinery exemptions, the agency has received additional waiver requests for 2019.
According to the latest numbers on EPA's RFS dashboard, https://www.epa.gov/…, the agency has received 16 SRE requests for 2019. Those requests come at a time when the price of renewable identification numbers, or RINs, continue to be low. One of the major reasons cited by refiners for making exemption requests, is the exorbitant costs of compliance with the RFS.
From 2016 to 2018, the EPA has granted an average of 28 small-refinery exemptions per year and received an average of 33.
One of the major concerns the biofuels industry has is the retroactive nature in which the EPA has granted small-refinery exemption -- requests for a given year typically are made at the close of that compliance year.
In the most recent finalized RFS proposal the agency opted to use the U.S. Department of Energy's estimate for SREs of about 700 million gallons per year, in attempt to account for exemptions in 2020.
The industry thought it had a deal with the White House that would have used a three-year rolling average of actual gallons exempted in 2016 to 2018, or about 1.35 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons.
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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