#NeverNeeded Report: EPA Should Grant Waivers to Renewable Fuel Standard, Congress Should Sunset the Program Entirely


WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan group of governors of five states — Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming — have requested a waiver from requirements of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in response to refiners threatened with bankruptcy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

In a new paper for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), senior fellow Ben Lieberman makes the case that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should approve the waivers and that Congress should legislatively sunset the program. Established in 2005 and expanded in 2007 in response to concerns about lack of domestic oil production at that time, the RFS is no longer needed in a country where the fracking revolution has led to an overabundance of domestic energy.

EPA denied a similar waiver request in the midst of a severe drought in 2012. 

“Thanks to the fracking revolution’s revitalization of the American energy industry, we no longer need a federal program mandating the use of biofuels in the refining process,” said Lieberman. “In granting the waiver request, EPA can immediately help five states during a time of economic crisis and Congress should begin the process of sunsetting a program that has outlived its already shaky rationale.”

Read the report: Suspend and Eventually Eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard: Costly Program Fails to Deliver Energy Security, Economic, or Environmental Benefits

For more on CEI’s #NeverNeeded campaign, please visit neverneeded.cei.org.