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328262

EPA to propose 2023 ethanol mandate within four months

The trade group Growth Energy sued the EPA last month because it was far behind schedule in setting the ethanol mandate for 2023, the first year the agency has a free hand in drafting the regulation. A consent decree, if approved, would resolve the complaint and oblige the EPA to propose the renewable fuel mandate by September 16 and finalize it by April 23, 2023.

On Monday, the Federal Register was to publish a notice of the proposed decree and invite public comment for 30 days.

The timeline “is a significant victory,” said Emily Skor, chief executive of Growth Energy, as the Renewable Fuel Standard enters a new era. “[Two thousand twenty-three] is the first year where required volumes of renewable fuel are not specified by Congress and must be set by EPA.”

By statute, the EPA was supposed to spell out the parameters of the 2023 biofuel program at least 14 months before it took effect. The deadline for that announcement was last October 31. While Congress set RFS targets in the past, with EPA having leeway to adjust them, the EPA beginning with 2023 would consider six factors, including the environment, the economy, and energy security, during the federal rule-making process to determine the biofuel targets.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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