On October 4, President Trump announced an agreement that directed the EPA to follow the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole, using the three-year average of renewable fuel gallons actually waived by the EPA, to account for waivers going forward.
The EPA has proposed to use a three-year average of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommended waivers, rather than the three-year average actually waived by the EPA as promised. While the EPA has correctly proposed to project waived gallons in the 2020 RFS volumes and future years, the projection does not reflect the EPA’s record on waivers. The EPA has consistently waived nearly twice as much as the DOE recommends. Good intentions do not provide certainty. Without a binding commitment the RFS will be kept whole, this rule gives the EPA free reign to change direction at any time.
The recent expansion of RFS waivers has reduced RFS requirements by more than 4 billion gallons over three years. In the past marketing year, corn use for ethanol production has fallen by 229 million bushels. EPA’s proposal to redistribute future waived gallons is half of what President Trump committed to.