The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was delaying implementation of the 2014 RFS requirements. The EPA said, “The proposal has generated significant comment and controversy, particularly about how volumes should be set.” The agency will issue the 2014 standards in 2015 prior to or in conjunction with action on the 2015 rule. The EPA originally proposed the rule in November 2013 which would lower the 2014 blending requirements to 15.21 billion gallons, a reduction in the Congressional mandate by about three billion gallons. Reaction to the EPA’s announcement was mixed among various stakeholders.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said, “Today’s announcement by EPA shows the administration recognizes the proposed rule was inherently flawed and based on an unworkable methodology. We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the 2014 and 2015 renewable fuel requirements are consistent with what Congress set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).” The American Meat Institute said, “EPA’s decision to once again delay the final 2014 RFS rule breeds uncertainty in the marketplace and demonstrates compliance challenges related to the current rigid RFS mandate.”
The RFS standard will be an issue in the 114th Congress. It is expected that next year legislation will be introduced to either reform the RFS or eliminate the RFS.