A diverse range of oil, ethanol and other fuel groups are defending various aspects of EPA's 2014-2016 renewable fuel standard (RFS) program in litigation against the rule, including an oil sector defense of EPA's basis to exercise its authority to waive statutory blending targets and biofuel groups' defense of the agency's method of projecting levels of cellulosic ethanol production.
Citing updated internal and third-party analysis, EPA is substantially downplaying the stringency of its landmark power plant greenhouse gas rule, arguing ongoing power sector trends will make compliance easier and cheaper than anticipated, just as the Trump administration is poised to take office and target the rule.
The Agriculture Department (USDA) is out with new findings that corn ethanol has far lower lifecycle greenhouse gases (GHGs) than previously thought and is projected to see further decreases, potentially boosting EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) by greatly expanding fuels considered “advanced” biofuels with very low GHGs.
A federal district judge is giving EPA until July 1 to craft a sweeping review of how its Clean Air Act rules for power plants and the coal sector may have affected jobs across the entire economy, rejecting the agency's push for at least two years to convene an advisory panel to help it determine how to obtain the information necessary for the study.
A federal district judge appears unlikely to grant coal companies' bid for a stay on all new of pending EPA Clean Air Act rules for their sector until the agency reviews the existing policies' impact on jobs in the industry, while also signaling that he will require a broader jobs study covering the entire economy and not just the coal sector.
States intent on moving forward with greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation despite an expected slowdown at the federal level are looking to EPA's draft model trading rules for its power plant GHG standards as a resource to develop new or expand existing state clean energy initiatives.