What is the Renewable Fuel Standard?

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a policy that requires a certain amount of biofuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply. The EPA administers the policy and decides how much biofuel has to be blended each year by setting an annual target.

Why did Congress enact the RFS?

Congress enacted the RFS to reduce America’s reliance on foreign crude oil by increasing the use of domestic, environmentally friendly renewable fuels in our gasoline and diesel.

Does the program work?

No. The RFS is a seriously flawed and broken program. This law has failed on many fronts, which is detrimental to the American consumer.

  • Rather than improve energy security, it harms it by threatening the viability of merchant refiners, who supply roughly half of all the gasoline and diesel used in the United States.
  • The shale oil revolution has provided America’s energy independence, not the RFS program. Today, we export crude oil and refined products – at RECORD levels.
  • We now import foreign biofuel, but the intent was to use domestic products.
  • EPA’s management of this program hinders rather than incentivizes additional biofuel use.
  • Because of the contrived, unregulated and sometimes fraudulent blending “Renewable Identification Number” (RIN) credit program used in the RFS, the fuel market has been divided into big winners and big losers, which may drastically reduce competition and cause gas prices to rise.

What is the solution?

The EPA needs to fix the blender loophole. The EPA has been warned for many years and has chosen to ignore a fundamental flaw in the RFS that is preventing the program from working as intended – the blender loophole. The EPA has required refiners and importers, but not blenders, to be the parties legally obligated to comply with the RFS. By leaving blenders exempt, the EPA has placed the obligation on the parties least able to affect renewable fuel use. This has resulted in a giant loophole that is discouraging the increased use of biofuels while creating windfall profits for the exempt blenders. If the blender loophole were closed, blenders would have both a legal obligation and a financial incentive to increase biofuel use, the same as refiners and importers.

What can I do to help fix the RFS?

Tell the EPA to follow the law and stand up to Big Oil and Big Retail and fix the blender loophole that’s ruining the RFS and our nation’s energy infrastructure. Click here to contact your legislator and the EPA.