EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal Ushers in Uncertainty

Today the EPA announced its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute takes a look at the heart of the issue:

Marlo Lewis, CEI senior fellow said:

"Let’s not forget why the EPA will be two years late finalizing RFS mandates for 2014 and a year late finalizing mandates for 2015. The RFS sets biofuel blending targets that increasingly diverge from market realities. The lawmakers who expanded the RFS in 2007 believed its 15-year production quota schedule would facilitate long-term business planning, allowing all participants to understand their obligations and opportunities long in advance. The scheme backfired. The EPA now sets – or fails to set – blending targets on an ad hoc basis.

"Moreover, the EPA’s decision – or indecision – is ‘informed’ by intense interest-group lobbying and election-cycle political calculation. Instead of building a predictable market, the RFS has ushered in a reign of regulatory uncertainty. Another testament to the folly of centralized planning."

Myron Ebell, director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment, also pointed out:

"The hypocrisy here is that refiners have to follow the rules retroactively, but the EPA doesn’t have to follow the rules at all."

See more background on the EPA and renewable fuels here.