EPA abandons RFS rulemaking for 2014

biofuels pumpThe Environmental Protection Agency says it will not finalize the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) this year.

Instead, the agency says it will set the final 2014 volume standard next year, and try to get back on schedule in proposing the 2015 and 2016 blending volumes.

Brian Jennings, executive vice president for the American Coalition for Ethanol, applauded the EPA’s announcement.

“A week ago, I would have told you the announcement from the administration would have been, ‘We’re reducing the RFS because of the blend wall’,” Jennings says, “and that was going to be a very negative announcement if that would have been the case. It would have forced us to consider suing the EPA.

“We can’t take too much of victory lap here. (But) the fact that we were collectively able to overcome Big Oil’s war chest and prevent EPA from rewriting the RFS in a way that would have fundamentally hurt the renewable fuels industry is a really important step.”

AUDIO: Brian Jennings

The reaction from other ethanol advocacy groups was somewhat mixed.

“Deciding not to decide is not a decision” says Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Unfortunately, the announcement today perpetuates the uncertainty that has plagued the continued evolution of biofuels production and marketing for a year. Nevertheless, the Administration has taken a major step by walking away from a proposed rule that was wrong on the law, wrong on the market impacts, wrong for innovation, and wrong for consumers.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy says EPA made the appropriate decision.

“Today’s announcement is a clear acknowledgement that the EPA’s proposed rule was flawed from the beginning. There was no way the methodology in the proposed rule would ever work, as it went against the very purpose and policy goals of the RFS,” Buis says.

The National Corn Growers Association issued the following statement: “Today’s announcement by EPA shows the Administration recognizes the proposed rule was inherently flawed and based on an unworkable methodology.  We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the 2014 and 2015 renewable fuel requirements are consistent with what Congress set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

Biodiesel supporters were less positive about the announcement. The National Biodiesel Board says the repeated delays in finalizing the RFS “are undermining the industry”.

“Biodiesel producers have laid off workers and idled production. Some have shut down altogether. We know that fuels policy is complex, but there is absolutely no reason that the biodiesel volume hasn’t been announced. We are urging the Administration to finalize a 2014 rule as quickly as possible that puts this industry back on track for growth and puts our country back on track for ending our dangerous dependence on oil. We also urge them to move quickly on 2015 so that we don’t repeat this flawed process again next year.”

The National Chicken Council criticized the EPA’s inaction, calling it “irresponsible”.

“This seesaw process by which the EPA proposes an up-and-down, now-and-later moving target as the compliance year unfolds leaves poultry and livestock producers unable to plan and budget effectively. While corn prices have moderated, volatility and uncertainty are the true business-killers.

“Despite this year’s record harvest, the chicken industry is just one drought, flood or freeze away from having to face higher feed prices – and consumers facing even higher food prices – because of the amount of corn that is mandated to be used as fuel. Albert Einstein is said to have observed, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.’  Today’s announcement is further evidence that our current renewable fuel policy is not only broken, it’s insane.”

  • The Chicken Council has the gall to ask a gov. agency to reduce the corn farmers to lose money on every bu. they raise .Ignore what they say.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News