EPA RELEASES FINAL RFS RULE TO OMB

Lindsay Mitchell

Aug, 27, 2014  |  Today's News

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sent the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review.  OMB has 90 days to review the rule.

The deadline to reveal final 2014 RFS volumes passed almost nine months ago on November 30, 2013.

The proposal, which received more than 340,000 comments, was a huge controversy when announced last year.  The oil industry, among other groups, opposed to the RFS applauded it as recognition of ethanol and biodiesel limits, while fuel companies criticized the EPA for turning its back on renewables.

The following comments were made by various leaders in the ag and ethanol industry:

“While we have not seen the rule, we hold strong in our belief that EPA and OMB will fulfill President Obama’s commitment to biofuels as a means of greater energy independence, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and wider availability of cost-saving alternative fuels for American consumers. This decision is about more than targets and gallons, it is about a rationale that places highest importance on the long term strength of this country and not the bottom line of oil companies,” said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.

“ACE members are pleased the 2014 RVO is now at OMB for interagency review and we continue to encourage the administration to finalize a rule that allows the RFS to work by incentivizing oil companies to blend above the E10 limit.  Anything short of that turns the keys to the RFS over to the oil companies and puts cellulosic biofuel at risk.  While all stakeholders have waited a long time for the final rule, and it could take another 30 days or more for interagency review, getting the rule done right is far more important than getting it done quickly,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings.

“While OMB has up to 90 days to review this rule, what is most important is the content of the final rule,” added Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Ultimately, this final rule should promote the policy goals of the RFS and call for an increase in the production of renewable fuels, so we can continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs at home that cannot be outsourced and mitigate climate change, while we improve our environment.”

The rule has not yet been made public, so there is no verdict on whether the volume requirements were changed from the initial proposal, which reduced the amount of ethanol and kept the biodiesel requirement the same.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota believes there will be middle ground.

“I think we’ll see an upward change,” Thune said.  “I hope it’s a significant upward change and I hope that in ’15 they look at this a different way.”