RFS Power Coalition members testify at US EPA hearing
In the United States (US), the Biomass Power Association (BPA) and American Biogas Council (ABC), delivered testimony at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on July 31, 2019, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Both witnesses called on the EPA to process applications that will allow biogas, biomass, and waste-to-energy electricity producers to participate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as intended by Congress when the bill became law over 11 years ago.
According to both organisations, none of these electricity producers are currently able to participate in the RFS due to EPA’s inaction which effectively excludes electricity fuel (e-fuel) from the RFS program.
The 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO), the focus on the July 31 hearing, does not include any fuel volumes for electricity. The RVO sets the mandates for renewable fuels purchased or blended by obligated parties for the following year under the RFS. Without volumes for renewable electricity, no market will exist to buy or sell renewable identification number (RIN) credits under the RFS.
Despite the fact that the EPA approved a pathway for biogas in 2014, the EPA has yet to process a single application from an electricity producer. Biomass and waste-to-energy electricity producers have also submitted applications, and their feedstocks qualifies them to produce RINs but the EPA has not yet created pathways for these forms of electricity.
The members of the RFS Power Coalition – the Biomass Power Association, American Biogas Council and Energy Recovery Council – filed a lawsuit in February 2019 in the Washington D.C. Circuit to challenge the EPA’s 2019 RVO for its lack of electricity volumes. The 2020 RVO repeats these legal flaws.