A bipartisan group of 32 U.S. Senators wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Feb. 9 urging the agency to quickly approve strong biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The Senators called for EPA to get “biodiesel back on track” and said delays create tremendous uncertainty and hardship for the biodiesel industry. The Senators said plants have reduced production and some have been forced to shut down, resulting in layoffs and lost economic productivity.
“The biodiesel industry requires certainty in order to plan for production,” the Senators wrote. “The Administration risks causing further disinvestment and lost jobs if the decisions are not made in a timely manner.”
EPA announced Nov. 21, 2014, that it would not finalize a 2014 rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard, citing the significant number of public comments and an inability to finalize the standards before the end of the year. The agency also announced that the compliance deadline for the 2013 RFS will take place in 2015.
In November 2013, EPA issued a proposed rule that would have lowered the blending requirements of the 2014 RFS to 15.21 billion gallons.
The reductions were seen as a recognition on the agency’s part that fuel consumption has declined over the last several years and that today’s fuel infrastructure is not able to handle ethanol blends greater than E-10.
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