The U.S. EPA officially published the proposed rule Friday that would set the 2014 volumes for the renewable fuel standard (RFS), marking the opening of the 60-day comment period that will close Jan. 28.
EPA announced its proposed rule two weeks earlier, setting off a firestorm of protest from the ethanol industry. The proposed rule lowers the volumes required to meet the RFS in several categories. No one was surprised by the reduced volume for cellulosic biofuel, set at 17 million gallons instead of the 1.76 billion gallons targeted in the Energy Independence and Security Act that established the revised RFS volumes. However, EPA has proposed more than a 3 billion gallon reduction in the overall required volumes. Two USDA economists explained the details of the proposal in an earlier news stories posted to Ethanol Producer Magazine's website.
The industry is expected to mount a campaign to flood the EPA with comments. Within hours of the official publication of the EPA proposed rule, the industry coalition Fuels America opened a portal for making comments that they will forward on to EPA.
To make comments directly, access the regulations page here. The page includes a summary of the proposed rule and links to related information, plus directions on how to comment via email or mail.