WASHINGTON – A year of delaying the final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard came to an end last week. The U.S. Environmental Agency issued a notice that it will not be finalizing 2014 applicable percentage standards under the RFS program before the end of 2014.
NACS Government Relations Director Paige Anderson called the decision disappointing.
“While we understand the complexity of the issue and the difference of opinion by many of the stakeholders, NACS believes EPA’s proposed rule from last November had accomplished the right balance between encouraging growth in the renewable fuels market and taking into account the decrease in demand for motor fuels. As we move forward, we encourage EPA to combine the 2014 and 2015 compliance years to instill some stability into the market. Delay will only lead to uncertainty, which will harm the overall fuels market and ultimately hurt the consumer,” Anderson said.
Following the announcement the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA for failure to issue the 2014 standards.
“EPA’s failure to comply with RFS deadlines has caused additional harm to obligated parties, including AFPM members. We urge EPA to take prompt action to promulgate the 2014 standards,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. “The fact that EPA proposed the 2014 standards over a year ago, and now 2014 is almost over, is another reason why Congress needs to step in and repeal or significantly reform this badly broken program.”
Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said that EPA’s announcement further perpetuates the uncertainty that has plagued the evolution of biofuels production.
“[T]he 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. …Refiners will continue to resist the competition from biofuels. The RFS must be allowed to be the market forcing mechanism it was designed to be. In the end, the verdict on today’s announcement can only be made after a decision on a path forward for biofuels is identified.”
American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard said the administration’s decision “to punt” on this year’s standards demonstrates that the Renewable Fuel Standard must be repealed.
“The rule is already a year overdue and the administration has no intention of finalizing this year’s requirements before the year ends,” Gerard said. “It is unacceptable to expect refiners to provide the fuels Americans need with so much regulatory uncertainty. …The only real solution is for Congress to scrap the program and let consumers, not the federal government, choose the best fuel to put in their tanks. Failure to repeal could put millions of motorists at risk of higher fuel costs, damaged engines, and costly repairs.”