Issue Update

Last Updated: January 23, 2019

The Issue

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates increasing volumes of renewable fuels in the fuel pool each year. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for establishing and implementing regulations to ensure that the nation’s transportation fuel supply contains the mandated biofuels volumes.  However, the volumes required can vary from statutory targets. This happens when EPA exercises its “waiver” authority when certain criteria are met. The EPA is supposed to finalize the obligated volumes of renewable fuels for a particular year by November of the year before. After the RFS sunsets in 2022, EPA will have the authority and discretion to determine the volume of renewable fuel for each subsequent year.  With the looming 2022 sunset of statutorily mandated blending targets, lawmakers and fuels industry stakeholders are considering the future of the RFS program post-2022.

Retail Impact

The convenience and fuel retailing industry sells over 80% of the motor fuels in the United States.  Policies that affect motor fuels – what and how to sell, store, label, dispense, price and tax fuel – can have a dramatic impact on the industry.

NACS Position

NACS supports EPA’s use of its waiver authority under the RFS to avoid hitting the blend wall - ensuring that future volume obligations do not exceed the volume of renewable fuel that the market can reasonably absorb or ensuring that there is sufficient renewable identification numbers (RINs) to fulfill obligated parties’ renewable volume obligations.  NACS believes that EPA has used its waiver authority appropriately during the annual renewable volume obligation process.

If Congress moves legislation, NACS supports including language to provide liability relief to fuel retailers on consumer misfueling.  A fuel retailer should not be responsible for a customer dispensing the wrong fuel in his vehicle when the vehicle and the gas pump has been appropriately labeled.  Legislation should also eliminate barriers to selling legal fuels (e.g. RVP one pound waiver for blends of ethanol greater than E10).