API urges EPA to expedite 2014 RFS requirements

The American Petroleum Institute once again has called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to transcend its pattern of missing self-pronounced deadlines and to finalize requirements under the federal 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) as soon as possible (OGJ Online, June 18, 2014).

“EPA still hasn’t finalized the RFS requirements for this year, leaving companies to guess how much ethanol they must blend into gasoline,” said Patrick Kelly, senior policy advisor at API.

API’s call on the federal agency came as the industry group marked the 1-year anniversary on Aug. 6 of EPA’s finalization of 2013 RFS requirements, which were delayed by more than 8 months.

While EPA missed its deadline for finalizing 2012 RFS requirements by only a month, its extended delay in meeting the deadline for issuing the 2013 final rule will be exceeded even further this year, with 2014 RFS final standards presently on track to be as late as 9 months or more, according to API.

“This is the longest, most unreasonable delay in a history of long, unreasonable delays when it comes to implementing the RFS under this administration,” Kelly said, emphasizing that the agency has not released RFS requirements on time since 2011.

The delay, API argues, could harm consumers by driving up compliance costs for refiners and making it harder for them to produce fuels to meet US demand.

Earlier in the month, a source at EPA told OGJ that the agency was still working on the 2014 RFS final standards in an attempt “to get them right” to achieve the goal of putting the RFS program  “on a manageable path that supports continued, achievable, realistic growth in renewable fuels” (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2014).

Given that federal law, however, requires EPA to finalize 2015 RFS volume requirements by the end of November, API contends the agency should be proposing those 2015 requirements instead of making the industry continue to wait for this year’s final standards.

“We urge the EPA to finalize the 2014 [RFS] rule now and start the process of finalizing the 2015 rule to meet the Nov. 30 deadline, as required by law,” Kelly said.

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