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The Biden Administration, which last year proposed to include electric vehicle charging from renewable electricity in the renewable fuel standard, could delay a decision on giving the so-called eRIN tradable credits to EVs over concerns about expected legal challenges, sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters on Monday.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to significantly expand the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to include the so-called eRIN proposal which would allow automakers to generate eRINs tradable credits based on the EVs they sell by establishing contracts with parties that produce electricity from biogas.
EPA’s proposal would allow EV manufacturers to generate tradable Renewable Identification Numbers from renewable electricity (eRINs) starting in 2024. Under the proposal, only electricity generated from a qualifying renewable biomass feedstock would qualify for eRINs; electricity from solar, wind, and hydropower would not.
The EPA has to finalize the proposal by June 14, but the Biden Administration has become more concerned that legal challenges to the EV eRINs could affect the regular RFS renewable fuel blending requirements for the next few years, according to Reuters’ sources.
During the period for comments on EPA’s proposed eRIN rule, the Energy Marketers of America (EMA) filed in February its comments, saying that it opposed the eRIN proposal.
“EMA argued that the EPA lacks the authority to implement the proposed eRIN credit for renewable electricity because it is inconsistent with the statutory purpose of the RFS, which is to support the production of renewable fuels, not the production and sale of certain vehicle technologies that eRINS are designed to promote,” said the federation of 47 state and regional trade associations representing energy marketers throughout the United States.
“Making automakers RIN generators is a clear attempt to siphon capital away from clean green biofuels to electric vehicles,” the trade federation noted.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com