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RFS rule sent to OMB for final review

Administration on track to finalize the Renewable Fuels Standard volume obligations rule by Nov. 30.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week received the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This is the final stage of the review process and is an indication that the Administration is on track to finalize the rule by Nov. 30, the American Soybean Assn. reported in their weekly newsletter.

On May 29 the EPA proposed levels that were below the congressional levels laid out in the 2007 law, but above levels previously proposed in November 2013.

These proposed volumes would allow volumes of conventional (non-advanced) renewable fuel of up to 13.25, 13.40, and 14.00 billion gallons to be used to satisfy the total renewable fuel requirements for years 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. The original statute called for levels of 14.4 billion gallons for 2014 and 15 for 2015 and 2016.

The initial EPA proposal released in May set biomass-based diesel volumes at 1.63 for 2014, rising by approximately 100 million gallons per year to 1.9 billion gallons in 2017.

While these volumes were a significant improvement from the original 2013 EPA proposal of 1.28 billion gallons, ASA has urged EPA to support more aggressive, but achievable, RFS volume targets for biodiesel. Given the many benefits of biodiesel and the capability for increased production, EPA should, at a minimum, support biomass-based diesel volumes of at least 2 billion gallons for 2016 and 2.3 billion gallons for 2017.

The official public comment period on the EPA Proposed Rule closed on July 27 and the comments submitted by EPA can be viewed here. The contents of the rule that EPA has forwarded to OMB for final review are not public.

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