RFS Blending Reporting Requirements Challenged

Monroe Energy filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit January 28 challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule that requires petroleum refiners and importers to demonstrate compliance with the annual renewable fuel standard blending requirements. The company contends that a new policy interpretation in the agency’s 2014 proposed rule creates an opportunity to challenge the 2010 rule, and believes that the obligations should fall to blenders who produce the finished transportation fuels.

Reporting Rule Challenged

Waste Management Inc. filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit January 28 challenging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that revised the global warming potentials industry must use to report their greenhouse gas emissions. The agency issued a final rule last November to revise the potentials as part of the mandatory reporting rule in order to make them consistent with those used in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report.

Coal Ash Rule Deadline Set

The Environmental Protection Agency filed a consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia January 29 in which it agreed to issue a final rule by December 19 for managing ash from coal fired power plants. The agency did not indicate whether it plans to regulate coal ash under the hazardous waste or nonhazardous waste provisions of the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act, but has previously indicated that regulating it as nonhazardous waste would be adequate.

OK Challenges Regional Haze Plan

Oklahoma asked the Supreme Court January 29 to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan for reducing regional haze in the state. The plan could cost the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company $1.2 billion to implement. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit sided with the agency last July, saying that it had the authority to review and reject the state plan, and that the agency lawfully exercised and promulgated the federal plan.

RFA RFS Comments

The Renewable Fuels Association submitted comments January 29 to the Environmental Protection Agency charging that the agency had misinterpreted its Clean Air Act authority to reduce the annual renewable fuel standard blending requirements for 2014. Renewable fuels producers are concerned that the proposed rule could hinder renewable fuel investment, particularly for advanced biofuels.

Efficient Multifamily Housing Partnership

The Environmental Protection Agency announced January 30 that it would join with Freddie Mac to use the Energy Star program to reduce carbon emissions and lower costs at multifamily housing properties. The agency will provide technical and educational support to Freddie Mac as it explores energy and water performance data during the loan underwriting and asset management processes. A third of Americans live in multifamily housing, spending $22 billion on energy each year; the agency has found that properties could become 30 percent more efficient by 2020, saving $9 billion and reducing 35 MMT GHG/year.

Climate Partnerships Report Released

The Environmental Protection Agency released an annual report January 31 finding that its partnerships with businesses, governments, consumers, and other organizations continued to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase clean energy and energy efficiency investment in 2012. The Climate Protection Partnerships prevented more than 365 MMT of emissions in the country in 2012, providing roughly $13 billion in societal benefits by preventing climate change- associated damages. Partner organizations invested $125 billion in energy efficient technologies the same year.