Biofuel trade association Growth Energy says it will sue the Environmental Protection Agency over its missing of the Nov. 30 deadline to announce new blending requirements for the nation’s biofuel mandate.
In a letter to EPA Tuesday, Growth Energy urged EPA to “promptly issue” the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and “should EPA fail to do so within 60 days of this notice, we reserve our right to sue for relief.”
“As we head into a new year and our industry continues to try and recover the from the effects of COVID-19, EPA’s failure to meet their statutory obligation to issue RVOs piles on the uncertainty in the fuel marketplace,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a statement. “The Agency needs to take action on behalf of rural America and follow through with its RFS obligation.”
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Under the law that created the RFS, EPA is to finalize blending targets for the following year by the end of November annually. So far this year, EPA has yet to release even proposed volumes, an action that typically takes place every summer. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has pointed to an uncertain demand picture caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the agency’s rationale for the delay.
An EPA spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
But not every group is calling on EPA to act so quickly. In a statement Monday, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper urged the agency to wait until after a new administration is inaugurated to address the RVOs.
“At this point, it likely makes more sense to let the new administration handle the 2021 RVO rulemaking process entirely,” he said. “Thus, we are confident that the new EPA administrator, whoever that may end up being, will stop doing secret favors for oil refiners and ensure the RFS is implemented in a way that is consistent with the law and Congressional intent.”
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