Michael Reagan, Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says he is looking options available for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) beyond 2022.
Firstly, Michael Reagan said he will confer with legal and policy teams to understand and look all the options available for the RFS; he also confirmed that he has had conversations with the Agricultural Department to discuss the role biofuels will play towards the energy transition.
According to Reuters, these answers came from Reagan after Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa interrogated Reagan upon the RFS controversy.
As we have reported earlier, the RFS is mandates oil refiners to blend biofuels into their mix, or to buy credits from other refiners that do so; nevertheless, small refineries can ask for a waiver from that obligation if they prove the RFS causes them financial harm.
Under the Trump administration, those waivers nearly quadrupled, which angered farmers and biofuel corporations as they say it hurts their demand. Debate was so heated it escalated to court battles.
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Reagan with huge challenge regarding volumes for RFS
Sinclair Oil Corporation was among the refiners who gained waivers just last month; those waivers were given by the Trump’s EPA on its last day in office. Now, the RFS will include volume mandates for 2022, and those volumes will increase year after year.
Reagan’s challenge is upon the accordance of those volumes. Moreover, the RFS created a huge demand for corn, and ethanol; which the oil industry is watching very closely; as it is another competition for refiners, already under pressure from renewables and electric vehicles.
Consequently, both industries are at suspense at what to expect from EPA for 2022 and those volumes obligations; on top of the already heated debate of the waivers.
“I will confer with my legal and policy team to understand all of the options before me regarding the RFS program,” said Reagan quoted by Reuters. While also saying: “moreover, in this specific case, how to set the RFS volume requirements beyond 2022.”
In conclusion, Reagan has really hot topics in his hands; when it comes to the RFS and the volume obligations EPA should set for volume production for 2022; and also 2021.