Last Friday, November 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) said it will defer its 2014 applicable percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. The proposed standards rule, issued by EPA in November 2013, requires U.S. refiners to add 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels to the nation’s fuel supply in 2014. EPA noted that it received myriad public comments to the proposed rule and, because of the “ongoing consideration of the issues presented by the commentators,” will not be able to issue the rule by the end of the year. In the interim, the Renewable Fuel Standard program remains the topic of heated debate, not only within the petroleum and ethanol industries, but on Capitol Hill. As it stands, the refining industry is not required to comply with the proposed rule but should anticipate complying once EPA takes final action. EPA noted that it will adjust reporting requirements to enable retroactive compliance.
For more information on the deferment of the proposed standards rule please see Notice of Delay in Issuing 2014 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program and EPA Puts Off 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to 2015.