Grapevine, Tex. | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to put out a proposal that will address Renewable Fuels Standards for 2014, 2015 and 2016 this spring, an agency official at an industry conference in Grapevine, Tex., said Thursday.
The agency will address all three years at once and plans to look at broader changes to address long-term issues of demand and the “blend wall,” said Christopher Grundler, a director at the EPA’s Office of Air Quality and Transportation, which oversees the Renewable Fuel Standards program.
“We believe by doing so we can get back onto the statutory schedule laid out in the law,” he said.
The EPA is late in designating mandated blending levels for ethanol and other biofuels, as the agency has struggled to increase the mandated levels as designated in a plan laid out by Congress in 2007 as growth of overall fuels demand has slowed.
“We have to address flat and, indeed, declining gasoline demand,” Grundler said. “For the next few months, we are regrouping.”
The EPA has been inundated with public comments on a proposed rule for use requirements that lowered the target for ethanol and other biofuels.
— Reporting for Reuters by Chris Prentice.