EPA’s Proposed Renewable Fuel Volumes Ignore Reality
WASHINGTON – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) responded today to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Renewable Fuel Volumes (RVOs) of the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard, required by the Clean Air Act to be promulgated no later than November 30, 2012. The proposed standards for four fuel categories will now be open to a 45-day public comment period before EPA finalizes the rules.
“We’ve waited 61 days only to learn that the RVOs for 2013 will not be promulgated until well after January 1, 2013 and, therefore, again will be effective retroactively to the disadvantage of obligated parties,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna.
“We are disturbed that EPA is mandating 14 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol when zero gallons are available for compliance as of today. In addition, we are surprised that EPA has not chosen to adequately consider a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s decision to vacate the agency’s 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate. EPA has been working on this rule for a very long time so we are skeptical that the Agency could re-evaluate the program in less than a week so that the proposed standards would comport with the Court’s decision,” Drevna added.
Drevna also commented on EPA’s proposal to address RIN fraud, as well as the Agency’s decision to maintain its requirement for 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. “We are encouraged that EPA finally released a proposal aimed at protecting refiners from the rampant fraud in the biodiesel market. We have yet to determine whether or not the proposal is adequate, but we are certainly pleased the Agency has finally moved forward with a proposed regulatory solution,” Drevna said.
“However, it is shocking that the Agency would mandate such high biodiesel volumes this year since 140 million biodiesel credits turned out to be fraudulent. Given such facts, it is unrealistic to assume the biodiesel industry will actually produce 1.28 billion gallons of real biodiesel this year. Today’s decisions by EPA are emblematic of an irreparable Renewable Fuel Standard and underscores the reasons why Congress should repeal the program,” Drevna concluded.