Kennedy, senators urge EPA Administrator to avoid RVO increase

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WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Senate colleagues in urging Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler not to increase the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for fuel for 2021.

“To ensure refiners and retailers can continue to provide American consumers with affordable fuels that are safe for their vehicles and specialized tools, as well as prevent damage to fueling infrastructure, the proportion of biofuels proposed in the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) must not exceed the ‘blend wall’ of 10 percent ethanol,” the senators wrote.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel has fallen. This decline in demand is expected to last well into 2021, and any increase in the renewable fuel mandate would cause severe and outsized economic harm, especially for small refiners in Louisiana.

“Any increase in blending volumes mandated under the RFS, especially an expansion of the 2021 RVO, would ultimately impact American consumers forced to bear the associated costs, creating another drag on a national economy that is in a state of fragile recovery from the depths of the pandemic. It is essential that you use all available statutory authorities to see to it that these unnecessary impacts are avoided,” said the senators.

The letter was co-signed by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and James Lankford (R-Okla.).