On September 15, 2014, I wrote a blog titled “EPA’s Standard Operating Procedures for RFS: Delay, Delay, Delay.” EPA has not issued the final rule yet for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We do not know what the renewable volume obligations are for 2014, even though the year is almost over. EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to promulgate these volumes annually by November 30 of the previous year.
EPA did send the final rule for the 2014 RFS to OMB on August 22, 2014. Although this was very late, we had an expectation that there would be a final rule promulgated before the end of 2014 because this interagency review process is supposed to be finished in 90 days or less. However, on November 21, 2014, EPA announced that this will again be delayed and the final rule for the 2014 RFS will be issued sometime after January 1, 2015.
What happened to cause this time out? The elections in November? The runoff in December for the U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana? My guess is the interagency review revealed a lack of consensus in the Administration.
So, we will finish the 2014 compliance period without a 2014 RFS final rule. But what does this mean for 2015?
At least 2015 does not have elections for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. But we know that the Agency will be late again, because the proposal for the 2015 RFS has not yet been sent to OMB for interagency review. Recall that the final rule for the 2015 RFS should be issued by November 30, 2014.
EPA expects the 2015 RFS proposal to be issued in May 2015, but RFS tardiness is not new: after all, EPA did not promulgate the 2013 RFS final rule until August 2013. Given these constant stoppages, maybe the title of this blog should actually be “Delay, Delay, Delay, and Delay Some More.”