On the heels of President Trump’s March executive order to rewrite key environmental regulations, the entire fuel industry is abuzz about speculation that the new administration may adjust the Renewable Fuel Standard compliance model to move the point of obligation downstream.
Last year, oil refiners petitioned to move the point of obligation from refiners to the owners of the gasoline (fuel marketers, railroads, fleets, etc.) before it is blended for retail sale. If the EPA follows through on this request it could have far-reaching consequences, including pushing costs for Renewable Identification Numbers to gasoline owners and higher prices at the pump.
Numerous fleets, companies and trade organizations have urged the EPA to maintain the current RFS compliance standard. In addition to the impact the change would have throughout the supply chain, how the federal administration handles this request from refiners is likely to be an indicator of the new leadership’s posture towards ethanol.
As of March 31, orders to change the RFS have not been issued. In addition, the U.S. administration’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review, which was applied to the renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017, expired. The EPA continues to implement the 2016 final ruling.
Source will continue to monitor the direction of the RFS and will provide updates as developments occur.