In a joint news conference with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler acknowledged August 28 that the agency would not meet a late-November deadline to set biofuel blending requirements for 2021.The requirement is a part of the renewable fuel standard, which Congress added to the Clean Air Act in 2005.
Along with other factors, EPA and the Department of Energy consider anticipated market conditions for the coming year to determine yearly blending requirement. Wheeler acknowledged that predicting the market in the time of the coronavirus pandemic is more complicated than in a typical year. He said EPA was working through the related issues and hopes to have a final regulation “soon,” but that EPA would fail to meet the November 30 deadline.
EPA is also considering dozens of requests from small refineries for exemptions from biofuel blending requirements—mainly for retroactive waivers going back a few years. Wheeler said that EPA was evaluating those requests as well, but he did not predict when a decision would be made,