The US Environmental Protection Agency agreed to issue final biofuel quotas for 2014 and 2015 under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard by Nov. 30 in a tentative settlement of a lawsuit filed by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and American Petroleum Institute.
In a proposed consent decree filed Apr. 10 with US District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA agreed to issue a notice of possible rulemaking for the 2015 RFS quotas by mid-June so they would be issued on schedule with the 2014 quotas, which will come out more than a year late.
AFPM originally filed a notice of intent that it would sue EPA for not issuing the 2015 quotas on time in December (OGJ Online, Dec. 1, 2014). Five days earlier, EPA had said it wouldn’t issue the 2014 quotas until yearend (OGJ Online, Nov. 21, 2014), more than a year after they were due.
“While we are pleased that we were able to negotiate a deadline that requires EPA to issue the overdue RFS rules, we remain concerned with the government’s implementation of this broken program,” AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz said.
“EPA’s failure to comply with the statutory deadlines injures refiners and exacerbates the problems associated with this unreasonable government mandate,” he said.
The two trade associations have argued that mandates for steadily increasing amounts of ethanol in the US motor fuel supply under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act have become unworkable since US demand, which had been rising, started to drop soon after the law was enacted.
“We hope this agreement helps get the RFS back on track, but the only long-term solution is for Congress to repeal the program and let consumers, not the federal government, choose the best fuel to put in their vehicles,” API General Counsel Stacy Linden said.
“Failure to repeal the unworkable law could put millions of motorists at risk of higher fuel costs, damaged engines, and costly repairs,” Linden warned.
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