Podcast: Reflecting on OPIS RFS, RINs and Biofuels Forum 2021

Podcast: Reflecting on OPIS RFS, RINs and Biofuels Forum 2021

Key Points: 

  • The market is still waiting on updated EPA regulations and standards for 2021.
  • Despite uncertainty, this is still a period of high interest due to the evolution of the renewable fuel market and low-carbon fuel standards.
  • State level programs and incentives are increasing, driving to a two-tiered regulatory credit market.

Sandra Dunphy and Greg Staiti share insights as presenters and attendees at this year’s conference.

On this episode of Weaver: Beyond the Numbers, host Tyler Kern talked with Sandra Dunphy, Director Energy Compliance Services and Greg Staiti, Partner Energy Compliance Services. Dunphy and Staiti recently attended the OPIS RFS, RINs & Biofuels Forum in Chicago.

Dunphy has been with Weaver for almost 11 years, and she leads the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) team. She and her team help companies navigate the regulations and how they work. As the first conference speaker this year, she gave an overview of the conference’s agenda.Dunphy, who has been with Weaver for almost 11 years, works directly with companies to help navigate EPA regulations. As the opening speaker at the OPIS conference, she gave an overview of the conference’s agenda, but the big news out of this year’s conference was the continued delay of the EPA’s regulation announcement.

“The timing of the conference this year was quite interesting,” Dunphy noted. “We have annual objectives that EPA publishes each year of the period of the regulations. We have now been waiting for an announcement about the standards the industry to try to meet.”

These standards are called Renewable Volume Obligations. Usually, they are finalized by the end of November before the compliance year, which means they should have been published by November 2020.

“The timing of the conference this year was quite interesting,” Dunphy noted. “We have annual objectives that EPA publishes each year of the period of the regulations. We have now been waiting for an announcement related to 2021 about the standards the industry to try to meet.”

“Ironically, in the conference last year, we said we were waiting for the EPA’s announcement, and here we are a year later still waiting for that announcement,” Dunphy said.

Staiti, a partner in Weaver’s Energy Compliance Services team, advises clients on the transportation fuels regulations that affect all fuels that go into vehicles. His presentation focused on feedstocks and other issues that present challenges under current RFS regulations.

“Both of our presentations were very heavy on the regulatory framework for renewable fuels,” Staiti said. “But, mine, in particular, focused on some of the challenges within the existing regulatory structure that could inhibit the expansion of opportunities for renewable fuels and their associated feedstocks, under the current regulations.”

The expansion of state and local renewable incentives are helping to drive change. Staiti explained, “We are seeing the development of a two tiered market. One in which there is a federal renewal incentive administered and then additional state level incentives for low-carbon initiatives.”

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Weaver is one of the largest providers of EPA attestation services in the U.S. and one of only a few firms whose Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), RIN-tegrity®, is approved by the U.S. EPA for domestic and foreign renewable fuel producers, as well as renewable fuel importers.