A few weeks ago I posted an article detailing EPA’s continued tardiness in issuing the 2014 RFS volumes. Today, I’d like to draw attention to similar problems with the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EIA has a statutory obligation to provide EPA with information needed to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This requirement is in the Clean Air Act, section 211(o)(3)(A):

(3) Applicable percentages
(A) Provision of estimate of volumes of gasoline sales  Not later than October 31 of each of calendar years 2005 through 2021, the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration shall provide to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency an estimate, with respect to the following calendar year, of the volumes of transportation fuel, biomass-based diesel, and cellulosic biofuel projected to be sold or introduced into commerce in the United States.

The statute is clear. EIA fulfilled this obligation in October 2010, October 2011 and October 2012, as it should have done.

But in 2013, things changed and AFPM sent a letter to EIA, dated November 22, 2013, reminding EIA that it was late and, as a result, there wasn’t any correspondence in October 2013 to assist EPA. On December 6, 2013, EIA acknowledged receipt of AFPM’s reminder.

Since there was no guidance from EIA, EPA made a mistake and used a low diesel volume projected for 2014 (47.12 billion gallons) in the 2014 RFS proposal, instead of the correct value of about 54 billion gallons. This error is important because it resulted in EPA overstating the proposed RFS percentages for 2014. This mistake would not have been made if EIA had provided the necessary information in October 2013.

This post isn’t meant to be a slap on the hand, but a call to action. EIA’s failure to comply with this clear statutory mandate has consequences for refiners and consumers. EIA needs to fulfill this obligation ASAP and send the required projections to EPA for 2015.

Tim Hogan

Posted by Tim Hogan

Tim Hogan is the Director of Motor Fuels for AFPM. To learn more about AFPM, visit AFPM.org