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On June 4, 2015, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register for a Public Hearing on the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. As part of the hearing, EPA will consider amendments to the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biodiesel, and advanced biofuels that are added to fuel produced in the U.S. or imported for 2014, 2015, and 2016, and will consider amendments to the proposed biodiesel volume for 2017. The hearing will be held on June 25, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., at the Jack Reardon Center, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66101.


 

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements held a hearing on "Examining EPA's Management of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program." The sole witness was Janet McCabe, Acting Administrator for Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A copy of Ms. McCabe's written testimony is available online.

Subcommittee Members on both sides of the aisle sharply criticized EPA on its recent announcement that it is delaying issuing a final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule until sometime in 2015. The rule was due to be issued by statute by November 30, 2013. EPA renewed its strong support for the RFS, and explained how it sought public comment on alternative approaches to setting the volume requirements. Comments received have been extensive and divergent, especially in light of drastically reduced gasoline prices and lower consumption, whether and on what basis statutory volumes for renewable fuels should be lowered, and concerns about the ability of the proposed approach to provide progress toward achieving continued progress towards achieving the volumes of renewable fuel targeted by law. EPA intends to take action on the RFSs for 2014-2016 to provide much needed certainty to investors and others. Republican and Democrat Subcommittee Members suggested that EPA's actions on issuing the final rule contributed to instability in the biofuels market, and may be cause for Congressional action to repeal the law, an outcome vehemently opposed by most in the biofuels industry.