The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to meet the statutory deadline for announcing the nation’s annual Renewable Fuels Standard since 2013. The announcement, which is required by November 30th for the following calendar year, has not yet been made for 2014 or 2015.
There are indications that some in Congress will seek to amend the section of federal law covering the RFS, but it is unclear how successful those efforts might be. Renewable fuels, especially ethanol, remain a politically charged issue that enjoys strong support from members of Congress from Midwestern states.
Among lawmakers likely to be active on the RFS front is House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, who led a similar effort in the last Congress. His committee is likely to hold hearings this year on the renewable fuels section of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), but industry observers predict action to reform or repeal the RFS will not take place until 2016, if at all. For one thing, while the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is also likely to hold hearings on the law, committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, says that reforming the RFS is “not high on my to-do list.”