After the Environmental Protection Agency proposes a rule, then it takes a tremendous amount of pressure to get the EPA to drastically reverse its proposed rule. Refusal to reverse itself definitely appears to be the expectation in regard to proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

A change to the RFS reducing the amount of renewable fuels required to be used during 2014 is expected to be upheld by the EPA. Some suggest the agency and Obama administration are being stubborn even though there has been a huge amount of pressure from members of Congress, many associations and a vocal segment of the general public requesting no change to the original RFS.  

Monica Trauzzi, host of E&E News online video network, in talking to Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), suggested it would be dramatic if the EPA changes its original draft rule, and Jennings agreed.

“That’s pretty routine when an agency has done their homework to recommend going in one direction then overturning that rule and going back the other direction is a very difficult challenge,” Jennings said.

He further suggested that if the EPA continues with reducing the 2014 RFS target it will set a bad precedent. The big oil companies will be rewarded for dragging their feet in offering E15 and E85 fuels.

Members of ACE and some gasoline retailers visited Washington D.C. this week to meet with members of Congress and EPA officials. “The proposed rule from EPA essentially dismisses E15 as a viable option, and that’s not OK and that overlooks a lot of the real-world activity taking place in 20-some states where retailers are offering this product,” said Jennings. “And so, we tried to provide a lot of information to the agency when we met with them this week about the progress being made. Independent retailers came to Washington with us, who are selling E15 and E85, and I think EPA took a genuine interest in that information, but they certainly aren’t telegraphing to us where they’re going with this final rule. So, I have no confidence, frankly, yet that this cut will be restored.”