OMB Kicking Off RFS Proposal Meetings

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS • Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun meeting with various stakeholders to discuss EPA’s proposed 2014-2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) targets, OPIS has confirmed.

OMB spokeswoman Emily Cain told OPIS that meetings have begun on the proposal, although she did not provide a formal list of those that have already occurred. Additionally, no meetings have been publicly posted on OMB’s website as of yet.

However, OPIS was able to confirm three OMB meetings beginning later this week: two on May 21, and one on May 26, involving petroleum and biofuel stakeholders. Numerous other meetings were planned, sources told OPIS, but specific dates had not been confirmed.

OMB has been formally reviewing the proposal since May 7.

In April, EPA announced that as part of a consent decree worked out with petroleum trade groups, it agreed to propose the 2015 RFS targets by June 1 and finalize the 2014 and 2015 targets by Nov. 30.

While not part of the proposed agreement, EPA also said it would propose and finalize the RFS standards for 2016 on the same timeline (proposal by June 1, final by Nov. 30); propose and finalize the RFS biomass-based diesel volume requirement for 2017 on the same schedule; and repropose volume requirements for 2014 that reflect the volumes of renewable fuel that were actually used in 2014.

Therefore, OMB’s review of the 2014-2016 RFS proposal is under expedited review to meet the June 1 court deadline, Tim Cheung, ClearView Energy Partners vice president and research analyst, explained to OPIS. “We interpret the shorter time frame to mean that the draft rule over at OMB is likely close to the actual proposal. In other words, we think stakeholders might not have much opportunity to shape the proposal,” he added.