Biofuel plant at sunset i-Stockr/ThinkstockPhoto

Alliance launches to resist point of obligation change

Another special interest group is pushing to change RFS point of obligation.

The Main Street Energy Alliance (MSEA) was launched April 5 to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resist the efforts of a group of special interests that are trying to alter the point of obligation requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Related: Senators tell Trump to leave RFS point of obligation alone

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has reportedly floated the proposal to change the point of obligation requirement.

On March 16, 2017, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Amy Klobuchar led 23 senators in a bipartisan letter urging President Trump to maintain the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and deny proposed changes that would derail the current program. 

“We believe such changes are unwarranted and indefensible,” the senators wrote to Trump. “We appreciate the commitment you have made to support the RFS. We strongly urge you to steer clear of administrative changes to the policy that would undermine the program and run contrary to your goals of promoting domestic energy independence and more choices at the pump. We look forward to working with you to ensure the RFS continues to provide the stability and predictability that is creating jobs and economic growth across the country.”

The Main Street Energy Alliance is a diverse coalition of national and local businesses and organizations, representing energy businesses and their consumers across the entire fuel value chain. Its members include the National Association of Convenience Stores, NATSO (representing truck stops and travel plazas), the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America as well as Shell and BP.

"A small group of refiners and their investors are trying to push through changes to the RFS to line their pockets at the expense of consumers and small businesses,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for the group. "Shifting the point of obligation would add complexity for businesses, decrease the use of biofuels, and potentially increase costs for consumers. Many energy businesses and consumers on Main Streets across this country could be negatively impacted by this effort to reward just a small few."

The RFS system currently places compliance requirements on the parties that control the composition of fuels – refiners and their investors – which creates a strong incentive for downstream fuel blenders, retailers, and marketers to blend renewable fuels into the supply chain while lowering prices at the pump. Along with small businesses and consumers, changing the point of obligation would have a negative impact on:

  • Farmers – Demand for agricultural products would plummet
  • Responsible Companies – Those that played by the rules would be punished
  • Government Oversight – Would add more EPA regulation, complexity, and fraud

More information on the MSEA is available at the coalition's website:

http://www.mainstreetenergyalliance.com

Source: Main Street Energy Alliance

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