WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has gained opposition in the form of a newly created coalition of energy industry associations, businesses and concerned citizens, the Main Street Energy Alliance (MSEA).
MSEA is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resist the efforts of a small group of special interests, who are trying to alter the point of obligation requirement under the RFS to "serve their own narrow business interests," according to the organization.
The alliance is made up of a coalition of national and local businesses and organizations, representing energy businesses and their consumers across the entire fuel value chain. Its members include NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, NATSO (representing truck stops and travel plazas), SIGMA: America's Leading Fuel Marketers, as well as Shell and BP.
Convenience store retailer members of MSEA include: Kum & Go, Qik-n-EZ, Kwik Trip, The Hub, Cumberland Farms, 7-Eleven, Casey's General Stores, Boyett Petroleum, Sheetz, QuikTrip, Ricker's, Thorntons, RaceTrac Petroleum and Pilot Travel Centers.
"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.
According to MSEA, along with small businesses and consumers, changing the point of obligation would have a negative impact on:
- Farmers, as demand for agricultural products would plummet;
- Responsible companies that played by the rules would be punished; and
- Government oversight, adding more EPA regulation, complexity and fraud
Washington, D.C.-based Main Street Energy Alliance is an organization currently focused on preserving the point of obligation requirements in the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard, while opposing changes to the requirement that would raise costs for businesses and consumers or add to the bureaucracy at the EPA.