The Environmental Protection Agency announced four actions Friday that include extending the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard compliance deadline for small refineries as well as the 2020, 2021 and 2022 deadlines for all companies subject to biofuel usage mandates.
The final extensions (both for 2019-2022 and for 2023+) will help ensure that obligated parties are positioned to fully comply with their RFS obligations by ensuring that each year’s compliance deadline falls after the standards for the subsequent compliance year are known. The approach for 2023+ will also avoid EPA having to repeatedly extend compliance deadlines for obligated parties should promulgation of the subsequent year’s standards be delayed.
The ethanol industry expressed disappointment with the final rules. Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Geoff Cooper said they are especially concerned by the new approach the agency is taking to future RFS compliance deadlines. “With this final rule, EPA just gave itself the power to perpetually delay implementation of yearly RFS blending requirements and continually kick the can down the road on compliance deadlines. This is not what Congress intended, and this approach could exacerbate the uncertainty and instability around RFS implementation that was created by the past administration. Ethanol producers, farmers, fuel retailers, and refiners need and deserve certainty and predictability when it comes to RFS implementation timelines. That’s why Congress put certain annual deadlines into the law for RFS implementation.”
Listen to Cooper’s comments on the final RFS compliance deadline rules
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper comments on EPA rules (5:08)