The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Trump’s administration has missed the deadline to announce how much biofuels volumes national refiners are supposed to blend into their mix. Which adds uncertainty to the entire biofuels industry.
The Agency was supposed to announce the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for 2021, this Monday, by federal law. According to Reuters, the silence of EPA angered one national biofuels association and threatened to bring EPA to court.
As we reported in early November, Trump’s administration was delaying the RVO ruling due to the then-upcoming elections; as it handled more politically sensitive matters. Nevertheless, those regulations were highly expected by the industry.
Biofuels companies and ethanol producers say the lack of regulations hurt their demand and their overall chain of value, as bigger refiners get waivers and extensions to their biofuel-blending obligations.
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EPA my leave the ruling to the next admin
Under Trump administration, those waivers quadrupled, as refiners argue the waivers help them to absorb the costly biofuels requirements. Refiners fought to get a 52-year gap for those obligations, which angered biofuels blenders and ethanol farmers.
Now, for Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, the most likely scenario would be the Trump administration leaving to Biden’s term the 2021 RVO ruling on its entirety.
Nevertheless, Growth Energy, one of U. S’s top biofuels associations, said it intends to file a lawsuit to force the Agency to act “immediately”.
“The Agency has failed to perform this mandatory, non-discretionary duty. As of today, EPA has not issued the renewable fuel obligations for 2021. In fact, EPA has not even issued a notice of the proposed obligations for 2021. Such extreme delay not only violates EPA’s statutory duty, but also undermines the Renewable Fuel Standard program’s purpose”, said Growth Energy in an open letter to EPA.
As reported by Reuters, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, also commented on the subject, and said it hopes for the Agency to soon provide certainty to their members. According to the news media, Environmental Protection Agency declined to comment on the subject.