Rolling in the deadlines

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI AND BEN LEFEBVRE, Politico • Posted: Monday, January 31, 2022

ROLLING IN THE DEADLINES: EPA finalized its rule last week to extend the deadlines for refiners to meet biofuel blending requirements and change how future deadlines are determined. The final rule extends the compliance deadlines for 2020, 2021 and 2022 for all obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standard, as well as the deadline for small refineries for the 2019 compliance year.

It also finalizes changes that would tie future compliance deadlines to a date after the subsequent year’s renewable fuels volume standard is set. EPA first proposed the changes in November and said the agency will “ensure regulated parties have clarity on their present and future RFS obligations.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said the ethanol trade group was concerned with the new approach. “With this final rule, EPA just gave itself the power to perpetually delay implementation of yearly RFS blending requirements and continually kick the can down the road on compliance deadlines,” he said in a statement. “This is not what Congress intended, and this approach could exacerbate the uncertainty and instability around RFS implementation that was created by the past administration.”