The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires all U.S. fuel manufacturers and importers to include a minimum amount of renewable fuel in their products. The program was designed to decrease petroleum imports and reduce CO2 emissions by taking advantage of biofuels.
Though the RFS has been in place for more than a decade, a small group of fuel manufacturers is trying to convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shift their renewable fuel obligations and compliance costs onto others. Rather than adapt to the law, this small group wants to rig it in their favor instead.
This change in the point of obligation would shift the economic cost of blended fuels onto a new and much larger group of obligated parties across the country, including petroleum marketers, terminal operators, fuel blenders, and certain service station owners, railroads, trucking companies and others, many of which are locally owned businesses. The change would inject inefficiency and complexity into the compliance process and would result in:
01. Increased Fuel Costs
Shifting the costs to local gas station leaves small business owners at the mercy of fuel producers who no longer have any incentive to produce renewable fuels at a reasonable cost. Gas stations can’t control the nation’s fuel supply, which is why it’s unfair to hold them accountable.
02. Decreased Consumption Of Renewable Fuels
The RFS is designed to promote clean air, stable prices and a reliable supply, however, the RFS doesn’t require consumers to buy renewable fuels. The only reason Americans buy blended fuel today is because gas stations are able to offer it at a competitive price. Even a slight increase in costs will push consumers towards non-renewable fuels.
03. Increased Administrative Costs
Put simply, changing the law would increase EPA regulation and compliance costs for local retailers. There are substantially more gas stations than importers or manufacturers in the U.S., meaning shifting the burden onto local fuel retailers would boost their costs and unnecessarily increase EPA oversight.