An Entertaining 101 on Issues Impacting the Renewable Fuel Standard

Aaaddrriiaann!!: Growth Energy Files Suit Against EPA For Alternative Compliance Approach

July 13, 2022

One classic that my parents instilled in my millennial self was the cinematic masterpiece Rocky. But somehow, screaming “Adrian” before getting into a fight with my brother never won me any points with my parents. #horsehockey. Where am I going with this? Recently, Growth Energy filed a lawsuit against EPA that, well, goes the distance. You might remember in April of this year, EPA denied 36 small refinery exemptions from the 2018 compliance year, 31 of which had already been granted. When EPA denied those exemptions, it afforded these small refineries an “alternative compliance approach.” Essentially, due to the fact... Read More →

Stranger Things Season Premier and Other Spoilers: EPA Releases Final RVOs for 2020, 2021, and 2022

June 8, 2022

With all the hype of Season 4 of Stranger Things, it’s truly a miracle that I get anything done. Admittedly, I wasn’t all about it when it was originally released (pretty sure I was still in the black hole of law school), but I’m a little addicted now. Between defeating the Demogorgon and Dustin’s dimples, the show is pretty easy to love. Speaking of demogorgons, EPA recently released the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2020, 2021, and 2022, and other, well, stranger things. Part of the reason the final release of the RVOs was important was that EPA was... Read More →

Fueling the Discussion: EPA Issues Emergency E15 RVP Waiver

May 11, 2022

My dad, being the king of dad jokes that he is, recently told me that he needed to take out a loan application…so that he could put gas in his car… While he was quite pleased with the joke, his take on the price of a gallon of fuel these days is felt by many commuters at the pump. Like the typical daughter, I roll my eyes at his jokes, but the fuel supply issues these days are nothing to roll your eyes at. EPA, called on by the Biden Administration, has felt these constraints and has recently allowed an... Read More →

I’m Shook! EPA Denies 36 Small Refinery Exemptions for the Compliance Year 2018

April 13, 2022

It seems like I’ve written a lot of articles on Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs). In my defense, there’s been a lot of material there. For example, last week EPA denied 36 petitions for SREs the 2018 compliance year. For a quick refresher, an SRE is a little bit of a “safe harbor” provision within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) regulations that excuses or waives the compliance obligations for a small refinery so long as certain criteria are met. First, the petitioning refinery (the refinery asking for the petition) must qualify as small under the regulations. Second, the refinery must have... Read More →

Breathe In, Breathe Out: EPA to Finalize 2021 and 2022 RVOs by June 3

March 9, 2022

How do you give a millennial incurable writer’s block? Tell them they’re on a deadline. EPA can relate to millennial angst where deadlines are concerned. Growth Energy recently reached a settlement with EPA requiring that EPA finalize the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2021 and 2022 by June 3. Growth Energy’s settlement terms (the “Settlement”) require EPA to sign the final rule for the 2021 and 2022 RVOs by June 3. Just a quick legalese sidebar, when a civil suit is filed and the parties reach an agreement prior to a final adjudication (the jury giving a verdict or dollar amount), the... Read More →

Pushing It Back! EPA Finalizes Proposal for Extension of Annual Compliance Deadlines

February 9, 2022

During law school, as far as my law professors were concerned, the word “extension” did not exist in the English language. You could ask for an extension and they would look at you like you had antennas growing out of your head and act like they’ve never heard the word before. EPA, on the other hand, not only knows the word, but uses it…with fervor… Recently, EPA finalized the proposal to extend compliance deadlines for obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as well as the conditioning of deadlines on the release of Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs). More specifically,... Read More →

New Year, New Renewable Volume Obligations: EPA Releases 2021 and 2022 Proposed RVOs and Revised Final 2020 RVOs

January 12, 2022

Can we all just agree that New Year’s resolutions are really just well-intentioned suggestions rather than obligations? I could resolve to eat healthier and get more exercise, but carbohydrates and cheese make up about 75 percent of my being and my relationship with Netflix is well-established. EPA must have had a jump-start on its resolutions and finally resolved to release RVOs, among many other things. For this post, however, I am going to focus on the recent release of Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2021 and 2022, and the revised 2020 final volumes. Before I go any further, RVOs are... Read More →

17 More Days Until Christmas! How Compliance Deadline Move the RFS Forward

December 8, 2021

The month of December really transforms me into the living impersonation of the Christmas spirit. I decorate my house (and the office), make Christmas cookies, and listen to and sing all the Christmas songs on repeat…much to the chagrin of my coworkers. However, the one Grinch-like item that many people have to deal with this time of year is: deadlines. Whether it’s buying that last present or trying to get the numbers to the boss, everyone is dealing with a deadline. Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), obligated parties are required to retire RINs against their incurred Renewable Volume Obligations... Read More →

Get Ready, Get Set Go! EPA Sets Renewable Volume Obligations for 2023 and Beyond

November 10, 2021

I have two siblings, which means the phrase “ready, get set, go” gives me anxiety. Inevitably, one of my siblings would start before any of us and the game went steadily downhill from there. Similarly, EPA is currently on the “get set” phase of setting volumes for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2023 and beyond…but isn’t jumping ahead of anyone. Just as a quick little reminder, for the RFS, the year 2022 Is. Not. A. Sunset. Date. *ahem* Now that we’ve got that out of the way, EPA is statutorily required to set the RVOs for 2023 and beyond... Read More →

Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble: EPA Has Yet to Release RVOs

October 13, 2021

It’s the month of Halloween which brings things like too much candy and slasher films, but it’s the thing that is still missing that may be the spookier thing. We are half-way through October and still, EPA has yet to release the Renewable Volume Obligations currently stuck in a black abyss that has to be located at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The release of the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) has been a long-awaited event that seems to never happen. Rumors fly like witches on broomsticks, but nothing seems to materialize. First, they were absolutely going to be... Read More →