Policy Corner: 2020 RVO Comment Period: POET Representatives Testify at EPA Hearing, Team Members Submit Comments

During the initial comment period for the 2020 RVOs, POET team members, through several concerted efforts, urged the EPA to hold oil companies accountable, uphold the law and stop undercutting the RFS.
The proposed rule, required by law under the RFS, determines how much biofuel should be blended into the fuel supply in a given year. While POET was encouraged by the 15 billion gallons proposed for starch-based biofuels, the proposal did not address reallocation of small refinery exemptions. 

POET team members submitted comments to the EPA urging the EPA to revise the RVO numbers to account for lost gallons that are eroding the demand for homegrown biofuels. In comments, team members wrote that if any legitimate waivers are granted, the EPA needs to reallocate those waived gallons to oil companies still obligated to follow the RFS.

On July 31 representatives from POET and Growth Energy were among those who testified before EPA officials at a hearing on the agency’s proposed 2020 RVOs. Shailesh Sahay, Senior Regulatory Counsel at POET, testified on behalf of POET and spoke about the importance of the agency to discontinue small refinery waivers.

“EPA’s 2020 RVO proposal, the continued issuance of illegal small refinery waivers, and insistence on unreasonably large RIN banks will further depress RIN prices and undermine the RFS,” Sahay said. “Nonetheless, we hope that EPA will correct course and properly administer program that is important to the President and key to America’s energy future.”

Following the comment period, and significant direct engagement by POET with biofuels champions and White House officials, the White House announced a biofuels reform package on Oct. 4 that will address demand destruction from SREs.

POET, Growth Energy and biofuels advocates will now focus on holding the EPA accountable to the President’s directive to implement the policies outlined in the reform package. There will be more opportunity to advocate for biofuels during an upcoming EPA rulemaking period. Stay tuned to poet.com/policy to find out how you can get involved.




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