EPA to formally propose ethanol standard

EPA to formally propose ethanol standard
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The public comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed ethanol blending standard three years will formally begin Wednesday.

The complete proposal will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register, following the EPA’s May 29 announcement of the ethanol plan for 2014 through 2016.

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The EPA said that it wants to increase the amount of ethanol blended into the gasoline supply by refiners through 2016, although it would be lower than the targets set out in the law authorizing the mandate.

The proposal disappointed both ethanol interests, who wanted the volume to go much higher, and the oil industry, which wants the mandate completely scrapped or significantly changed.

“We’re balancing two dynamics: Congress’s clear intent to increase renewable fuel over time to address climate change and increase energy security, and the real-world circumstances that have slowed progress toward these goals,” EPA air pollution regulator Janet McCabe told reporters at the time.

The planned Wednesday publication kicks off the period during which the public, companies, lobbying groups, lawmakers and others can submit formal comments to the EPA on the proposal. The comment period will close July 27, the EPA said.

The agency has agreed in court to make at least the 2014 and 2015 levels final by the end of November, and it plans to put out the 2016 standard at the same time.