The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program has long been a contentious policy topic between oil, agriculture and biofuel industry trade groups and other industry stakeholders for over a decade. But recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set off a debate within the petroleum industry by suggesting that the point of obligation under the RFS be moved from refiners and importers of refined fuel products (i.e., defined as “obligated parties” under existing law) further downstream.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently confirmed an appeal it’s ruling partially in favor of Argentina in its dispute with the European Union (EU) over duties that the EU imposed on imported Argentine biodiesel three years ago.
The paper found that, because small refiners were exempt from the RFS until 2012, obligated parties—i.e. refiners and importers of refined fuel products—hit the blend wall as early as 2010 and was past it by 2012.