All Eyes on EPA this Summer
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
By Michael McAdams, President, Advanced Biofuels Association
The pioneering companies that belong to ABFA are keeping busy this summer. Developing this emerging industry is a full-time job that involves many tasks. Raising necessary financing. Designing, building or purchasing commercial-scale production facilities. Optimizing production of low-carbon fuels, chemicals and feedstock.
While checking off these and other important assignments on their to-do lists, my members are also keeping a close eye on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Just last week EPA issued two final rules, with several more decisions still to come, that could make Summer 2014 the most consequential in the brief history of this emerging industry.
Most of the attention has rightly focused on the agency’s impending decision regarding the volume of biofuels that blenders will be required to use to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2014. We may already be halfway through the year, but this decision will have an outsized influence on the continued growth of our industry. ABFA continues to hope that EPA will set the standard at a level that acknowledges the gallons produced and encourages production and consumption of all available advanced biofuels. It would also be a breath of fresh air – and potentially provide needed stability and certainty – if EPA also proposed the 2015 standards when finalizing the 2014 rule.
While the renewable volume obligations are certainly critical, the agency released two other rules prior to the July 4th holiday that represent a step in the right direction and – with a little more continued work and action by EPA – could help keep advanced and cellulosic biofuels on a growth trajectory.
We’ll continue working closely with environmental regulators and other stakeholders so they understand the importance of getting these technical matters right. And, we’ll be blogging in greater detail throughout the summer. Stay tuned, because it’s only going to get hotter in Washington as the anticipation builds for further EPA action on renewable fuels.