Nine Democratic House members, including four from California, are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to allow electric vehicles to be part of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the lawmakers press the agency to advance a rule that would permit electricity powering EVs to generate Renewable Identification Numbers — the credits used to track RFS compliance — when produced from renewable biomass such as dairy digesters. 

The change would create the category of eRINs. The lawmakers want the EPA to act on the matter by the end of September, so credit generation can commence at the beginning of 2024.

The letter says there is no reason for EPA to not "finalize any necessary rules and allow eRIN generation to begin in 2024. EPA staff and leadership have already completed the hard work of developing such rules and preparing to implement the program."

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree, who led the letter, which was also signed by California’s Jim Costa, John Garamendi, Mike Levin and Scott Peters; New York’s Yvette Clarke and Paul Tonko; Michigan’s Debbie Dingell; and New Hampshire’s Ann Kuster.

EPA included the eRIN provision in a rule proposed last December to set RFS blending targets for 2023 through 2025, but the final rule released in June omitted the provision after biofuel industry leaders pushed back on the idea.

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The Democratic lawmakers implore Regan to set aside the biofuel industry opposition, arguing “there is no downside" to eRINs.

“Despite what some stakeholders have claimed, there is no evidence that an eRINs program will cause consolidation in agriculture or otherwise create perverse incentives with respect to organic waste that negatively impacts disadvantaged communities; and, all of the benefits of the program are paid for by the petroleum industry, which has enjoyed record profits in recent years,” the lawmakers write.

“Further delay, on the other hand, introduces unnecessary risk and jeopardizes billions of dollars that could be invested in accelerating electric vehicle adoption and new low carbon electricity production."

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