According to U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, farmers will have to wait just a bit longer for the agency's final word on volumes for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard.
The agency in November proposed lower volumes partially on concerns that the fuel supply would be unable to handle the volumes initially outlined in the standard. McCarthy said two of the hang-ups are concerns over how the EPA has opted to adjust the volumes and whether the proposed adjustments meet the agency's goal of encouraging biofuels' use.
"We're just taking the time we need to make sure that the Renewable Fuel Standard addresses those issues as best we can," McCarthy said in a press call Tuesday. "The administration continues to have a strong commitment to biofuels – we want to make sure that the final [RFS] clearly reflects that interest."
EPA initially projected an end-of-spring release date for the final volumes, though June 20 came and went without more information.
McCarthy said she appreciated the interest in a final volume ruling, though accuracy is important.
"They'll be seeing the final as soon as we can get it out, but I guess my goal is always to make sure we get it right," she said.
NFU stands by initial volumes
Also Tuesday, the National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, at a briefing at the U.S. House of Representatives, said it is "crucial" that Congress not change the RFS.
Improved 2014 RFS targets, he said, would provide certainty for farmers and the ethanol industry. The briefing was hosted by Fuels America in cooperation with Reps. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, and Lee Terry, R-Neb.
"The RFS drives economic growth in rural America and supports around 300,000 direct jobs nationwide," Johnson said. "A stable RFS will help to develop the next generation of biofuels and provide new market opportunities for farmers, while simultaneously providing significant climate, environmental and national security benefits."
Other panelists included Brooke Coleman, executive director, Advanced Ethanol Council; Doug Bervin, vice president of corporate affairs, POET; Josh Nasser, legislative director, United Auto Workers; and Geoff Cooper, senior vice president, Renewable Fuels Association.