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30 November 2014 - What’s Going On at EPA?

What is going on at the Environmental Protection Agency? It was November a year ago when the EPA issued a proposed rule that would change the Renewable Fuels Standard and, in effect, lower the volume of biofuels in our energy program. The Administration said it wanted an answer by early summer on what levels would be in effect during 2014. July has come and gone and no announcement.

Then, the last week of November, EPA did make an announcement...it would not be finalizing 2014 volume standards before the end of 2014! The agency went on to say it would take action on the 2014 standards rule in 2015 and looking forward, went on to say one of EPA’s objectives is to get back on the annual statutory timeline by addressing 2014, 2015 and 2016 standards in the next calendar year. I would hope that is possible, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Reaction to the announcement was interesting and I share a couple of statements with you...
Chip Bowling, President, National Corn Growers Association - “Today’s announcement by EPA shows the Administration recognizes the proposed rule was inherently flawed and based on an unworkable methodology. We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the 2014 and 2015 renewable fuel requirements are consistent with what Congress set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard Act. Congress created the RFS to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to provide cleaner fuel choices for consumers. We will continue working to defend the interests of corn growers and consumers by holding EPA accountable for implementing the law as enacted by Congress.”

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking Democrat, House Ag Committee - “Today’s announcement leaves the future of ethanol, biodiesel and other advanced biofuels up in the air. The RFS has played a major role in keeping the rural economy strong, and continued inaction could put that in jeopardy. Our farms, rural communities and the economy as a who could all feel the impact. The proposed reductions to the RFS were unacceptable and, while the uncertainty created by today’s announcement is not helpful, I hope that it will give EPA the time needed to do the right thing.”

I don’t know about you, but if my boss gave me an assignment to complete in six months and a year later, I still didn’t have it done, I wouldn’t have a job! Maybe some of the 15,913 employees and executives at EPA should be discharged for inability to complete an assignment anywhere near close to time.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.