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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined a group of senators in sending a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler concerning the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2021. The letter was led by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Specifically, the senators asked Administrator Wheeler to use his statutory authorities under the Clean Air Act to cite “severe economic harm” and employ a general waiver to not increase the RVO for 2021. Given that COVID-19 has suppressed demand for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, any increase in the mandate would cause severe and outsized economic harm next year by raising costs for consumers, particularly at the gas pump, they said. Additionally, the letter urges the EPA to not reallocate prior year obligations that would increase burdens on refiners of all sizes, including small refiners.

“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,” the senators wrote.

The full letter can be viewed here.