American Biogas Council condemns EPA’s "continued abuse" of RFS waivers
Reacting to the recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement on August 9, 2019, regarding the 2018 small refineries waivers, the American Biogas Council (ABC) has condemned the agency's announcement.
Before 2016, EPA granted seven to nine waivers per year. On August 9, 2019, the agency revealed that it issued “a staggering” 31 small refinery waivers that were requested for the 2018 compliance year.
The 2018 waivers represent 1.43 billion (US) gallons (≈ 5.41 billion litres) of renewable fuel demand, many of which the biogas industry had been planning to supply.
In a year in which agricultural interests have suffered under the strain of President Trump’s trade war, this action is especially callous. Due to the large volume of fuel represented by these waivers, the biogas industry will undoubtedly stop development and investment in many new projects that should be creating new jobs and infrastructure in rural, suburban and urban America. This is not how the RFS was designed to work, said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council (ABC).
Additionally, EPA has indicated that it does not intend to reallocate these gallons to other obligating parties, which further contributes to the erosion of the market and defies court orders to do so.
It seems that President Trump’s campaign promises to support the RFS were empty at best, as his EPA is doing everything within their power to undermine markets and disregard court orders. This abuse must stop immediately. EPA must follow the letter and spirit of the law that Congress passed, said Serfass.
Biogas qualifies as a cellulosic fuel and can be utilized to make compressed and liquefied renewable natural gas (RNG) and comprises over 90 percent of the cellulosic category of the RFS.
According to ABC, the ability to participate in this program brings significant value to biogas systems which provide much more societal value than just producing renewable fuel.
Biogas systems recycle organic material, protect air, water and soil and strengthen rural and urban economies while creating jobs and catalyzing new investment.