Under pressure from the courts, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a timeline for when it will finalize renewable fuel volume requirements. The agency has yet to finalize its 2014 proposed amounts, which disappointed many in corn country.
Corn growers and fuel manufacturers need to know what the government requires under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Two petroleum groups brought a lawsuit against the EPA because of missed deadlines for those announcements. The agency has now released its intended timelines for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Iowa Republican US Senator Chuck Grassley says that’s not exactly how the law is supposed to work.
“It’s too bad it takes a court order for bureaucrats to do something,” Grassley said. “And the people that brought the case aren’t our friends on renewable fuels. But they are our friends from the standpoint that bureaucrats ought to follow the law.”
Grassley says it’s unfortunate the EPA couldn’t get its work done without a court order. But the required amounts are still unknown.
“All we can do at this point is hope that EPA doesn’t cut back the amount of ethanol that has to be used to mix with gasoline,” Grassley said.
Corn used for mandatory ethanol blending contributes to the success of Iowa's farmers and is one reason corn prices rose in recent years. The EPA says it will propose volumes for this year and next by June 1st and then finalize those plus last year’s numbers by November 30, 2015.