latory and scientific affairs.
Both associations strongly criticized implementation of
quotas under the RFS, which was established under the
2005 Energy Policy Act and expanded under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. They urged EPA to
use its waiver authority to reduce future advanced, cellulosic, and renewable fuel obligations to assure the mandate
does not exceed the E10 blend wall.
AFPM also noted in its May 16 comments that it has petitioned EPA to move the point of obligation under the Renewable Identification Numbers compliance program from
the refining and blending to the product rack, where states
collect excise taxes. API opposes this idea, calling it a temporary fix at best.
Both associations said they would like to see the RFS
repealed because the US crude oil supply and demand outlook has improved so dramatically since its enactment.
Ozone nonattainment problems
API and AFPM also expressed concern over EPA’s 2015
reduction of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard
(NAAQS) for ground level ozone to 70 ppb while many
states and localities still had not fully implemented the 75
ppb limit under the 2008 NAAQS. The stricter 2015 limit
potentially could push areas without much industrial activity into nonattainment because it fails to consider naturally
occurring background ozone, the associations have said.
“AFPM recognizes that the 5-year cycle is part of the
statutory design of the Clean Air Act and that other imple-
mentation measures are based in statute,” said David Fried-
man, AFPM vice-president for regulatory affairs. “But the
administration can ease the burden on states and business-
es by further considering how improving air quality can be
accounted for [and] considered during the implementation
process for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.”
API said in its comment that implementation rules and
associated tools such as robust modeling are not sufficiently
flexible and available to implement the NAAQS. It recom-
mended that rules be predictable and provide maximum
flexibility to the states and affected sources. “Grandfather-
ing, which is addressed in the NAAQS rule itself, does not
provide sufficient transition periods when a NAAQS is
revised. The current situation can cause uncertainty and
costly delays to both states and businesses,” it warned.
Both associations also said that a petroleum refining risk
and technology review rule, which EPA made final on Dec.
1, 2015, needs to be reconsidered. “AFPM members have
significant concerns surrounding the new requirements to
compel disclosure of potentially security-sensitive information to emergency responders and the public, perform
inherently safer technology assessments and third-party
audits, and eliminate the use of representative sampling
when performing a compliance audit,” Friedman said.
“Particularly, sharing security-sensitive information is
Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Bar-
ry Russell said, “This overreaching rule puts independent
producers—many of which are small family-run businesses
with limited resources—on the hook for complying with the
costly burdens of a flawed regulation.”
Russell continued, “This regulation will particularly
affect small-producing, marginal wells located on federal
lands.” Shutting in these smaller wells means fewer royal-
ties will be sent to the federal treasury, he said. “These fed-
eral dollars are vital for many western economies and are
used to fund state and local priorities, such as education
and infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.”
The American Petroleum Institute said following the
Senate’s vote that BLM’s methane emissions rule is dupli-
cative and unnecessary. Data from EPA’s latest US green-
house gas inventory in March show that methane emis-
sions from all petroleum systems decreased by more than
28% since 1990, notably an 8% drop from petroleum pro-
duction since 2014 which EPA attributed to less associated
gas venting and flaring, it said.
“The US is a global leader in production and refining of
natural gas and oil while cutting greenhouse gas emissions,
the result of technological advances in hydraulic fracturing
and horizontal drilling. It is through innovation—not unnecessary, costly, and duplicative regulation—that we are
able to achieve this success,” said Erik Milito, API upstream
and industry operations group director.
API, AFPM each ask EPA to review
RFS, ground-level ozone rules
The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers each asked the US Environmental Protection Agency to review the federal Renewable Fuel
Standard and reconsider ground-level ozone limits.
Their requests came in comments filed in response to
EPA’s solicitation of suggestions for regulations to be reviewed and possibly revised or repealed. This followed US
President Donald Trump’s executive order to federal departments and agencies to consider whether their regulations are unduly burdensome.
“Consistent with President Trump’s stated objectives of
American energy leadership and economic growth, EPA
and other federal agencies should embrace and advance
a regulatory system that promotes responsible access to
domestic oil and natural gas resources, streamlined permitting, and cost-effective regulations based on sound science,” said Howard J. Feldman, API senior director of regu-