The U.S. EPA delivered the proposed rule for the 2017 renewable fuel standard (RFS) to the White House Office of Management and Budget earlier this month. OMB review marks a final step before the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register and opened for public comment. Of course, IL Corn is of the position that the only acceptable numbers from EPA are those that reflect Congressional intent for the RFS. EPA has ratcheted those numbers back for recent years.
The proposed rule contains 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for renewable fuel, advanced biofuel and cellulosic biofuel. It also contains the 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The 2017 standard for biomass-based diesel was finalized in a previous RFS rulemaking.
Delivery of the proposed rule to the OMB seems to indicate the EPA is on track to finalize the final rule for 2017 RVOs in line with the Nov. 30 statutory deadline. In February, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified during a congressional hearing that the agency has taken steps to improve implementation of the RFS intends to keep on track with future RFS rulemakings.
The EPA delivered the proposed rule to set 2014, 2015 and 2016 RVOs to the OMB on May 7, 2015. The proposed rule was released for public review less than one month later, on May 29. At the time, then ICGA President Kenneth Hartman, Jr., said, “Illinois Corn believes EPA has broken Federal law time and again on the conventional RVO numbers. They’ve snubbed their nose at Congressional statute. They’ve ignored thousands of evidence-based comments on this issue and others.”