The National Biodiesel Board thanked a handful of senators for introducing legislation that would require small refineries to petition for Renewable Fuels Standard hardship exemptions by June first of every year. The legislation would also require the Environmental Protection Agency to properly account for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations it sets each November. Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, says his organization appreciates the efforts to end EPA’s rampant use of small refinery exemptions to undermine the RFS.
“Over the past two years, EPA retroactively granted RFS hardship exemptions to nearly every refiner that asked,” Kovarik says. “When EPA issues retroactive small refinery exemptions and refuses to account for the lost gallons in annual volumes, it very-much cuts the legs out from under the RFS.” He says the exemptions handed out in 2015, 2016, and 2017 destroyed demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel. NBB says it conservatively estimates the demand destruction of 364 million gallons of biomass-based diesel. The University of Illinois estimates the economic harm to biodiesel producers to be $7.7. billion dollars.