The EPA missed the Nov. 30 deadline for finalizing the 2021 renewable volume obligations in the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the leader of the Renewable Fuels Association said on Monday the Trump administration should punt the rule to the next administration.
In order to make the deadline, the agency should have released a proposal back in June.
"It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that EPA is missing its statutory deadline for publishing the final rule for 2021 RVOs, given that we still haven't even seen a proposed rule," RFA President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Cooper said in a statement.
If EPA had released an RFS volumes proposal on Monday, volumes likely wouldn't have been finalized until early next year.
"At this point, it likely makes more sense to let the new administration handle the 2021 RVO rulemaking process entirely," Cooper said.
"President-elect Biden has correctly noted that the RFS waivers granted by the current EPA have 'severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs.' Thus, we are confident that the new EPA administrator, whoever that may end up being, will stop doing secret favors for oil refiners and ensure the RFS is implemented in a way that is consistent with the law and congressional intent."
Even if it takes the next administration a few months to finalize a new rule, Cooper said the current statute is "crystal clear" it requires the blending of at least 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol with gasoline.
"So, while there may be some uncertainty around where the final advanced and cellulosic volume requirements may end up, the marketplace should be able to enter 2021 with some level of confidence around the conventional renewable fuel and biomass-based diesel requirements," he said.
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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