The notice of proposed rulemaking on the Renewable Fuels Standard may be imminent.
News out of Washington last week was that the Office of Management and Budget has completed the review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule, specifically as it relates to indirect land use and greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels compared to gasoline.
Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen says they expect to see the rule from EPA proposed soon. “The agency has been working hard to get the rulemaking done and is under increasing pressure to do so,” said Dinneen. “Some believe that the ethanol industry is reluctant to see this rule hit the streets, that we don’t want to see an open and honest debate about the greenhouse gas issues that are teed up in this rulemaking. Just the opposite is true. We want this rule out there, we want to see all the numbers available for the public.”
Dinneen says they believe a complete evaluation of the science “will demonstrate that ethanol’s impact on indirect land use change is minimal and the significant direct benefits of adding ethanol to gasoline is extraordinary and is a policy that needs to be expanded.”
There are concerns that the recent decision by the California Air Resources Board regarding indirect land use impacts of ethanol will have a bearing on EPA’s rulemaking, but Dinneen believes the agency is looking at a different model for assessing greenhouse gas impacts that will be more favorable for ethanol and other biofuels.