June 27 is the final day to submit comments on the U.S. EPA's proposal for the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes.
The submissions close at11:59 p.m. Eastern, leaving only hours for supporters and opponents to voice their opinions.
EPA released the proposed volumes in May, covering 2014-2016. For 2014, EPA proposed levels that were actually produced and used as transportation and jet fuel or heating oil in the U.S.
For 2015, EPA is proposing 16.30 billion gallons of total renewable fuels; for 2016 that total moves up to 17.40 billion gallons. That's an increase from proposed 2014 levels that were released in November, 2013, which amounted to 15.21 billion gallons.
Renewables groups are turning up the heat on submitted comments and support for the RFS, with Fuels America on Monday turning in more than 200,000 comments to the EPA in support of a strong final rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Farmers and biofuels producers hosted rallies this summer in Kansas City and Washington, D.C., to show support for the RFS as well.
"The Renewable Fuel Standard represents a promise to rural America—a promise that, when kept, helped rural economies across America make a strong comeback," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union and one of the Fuels America members who dropped comments off at the EPA Monday.
Erick Lutt, Director of Industrial and Environmental Policy at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said: "Today, Americans are sending a strong signal to the EPA that its proposal to lower RVOs under the RFS is unacceptable.
"The EPA's misfires and delays have pulled the rug out from the American investors and innovators who have brought the next generation of biofuels online in the U.S. The EPA must set RVOs consistent with Congress' original intent in order to bring investment back to America."
Meanwhile, opponents are also turning attention to EPA's comment period conclusion, with the American Petroleum Institute on Monday saying EPA's assumptions of growing demand for high-ethanol fuel blends are "simply wrong."
"High ethanol blends – such as E15 and E85 – that EPA is pushing are not compatible with most cars on the road today, and they could potentially put American consumers and their vehicles at risk," API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told reporters during a news conference. "Consumers have shown they have little to no interest in purchasing increasing amounts of high ethanol fuels. Consumers' interests should come ahead of ethanol interests."
Public comments can be submitted and viewed on the Federal Register.