The Biden Administration turned to Tesla for help on its renewable fuel policy reform. The updated policy is expected to include benefits for electric vehicles from the United States’ renewable fuel subsidies.
Reuters reviewed the emails from the Biden Administration to Tesla. Based on the emails, the Biden Administration contacted Tesla on its first day of office. The administration also reached out to other companies tied to the EV industry. The emails suggest that Biden might expand the scope of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.
The RFS is a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. The final volume requirements set for 2022-2022 are available in the chart below.
The U.S. Congress created the program in 2005 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also meant to expand the renewable fuel sector while reducing the country’s reliance on imported oil. Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are used like currency in the RFS program.
Renewable fuel producers generate RINs and market participants trade RINs. The Biden Administration is considering the introduction of electric RINS or e-RINS for companies like Tesla. It is also thinking of expanding the subsidy program to other clean energy industries, like car charging companies.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the RFS program. Earlier this month, the EPA announced its goal to strengthen the RFS Program. It plans to diversify the United States’ fuel supply by increasing domestic biofuel production. The agency also plans to include biointermediates—which are feedstocks processed into RFS-qualified biofuel—to the program.
The EPA’s announcement did not mention e-RINs or benefits for other forms of renewable energy.
“At EPA, we are laser-focused on providing more options for consumers at the pump, and today we are taking steps to increase the availability of homegrown biofuels,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
“Today’s actions will help to reduce our reliance on oil and put the RFS program back on track after years of challenges and mismanagement. We remain committed to working with all RFS stakeholders to build on today’s actions and deliver certainty and stability in the RFS program.”