Time is relative, especially when you're dealing with government standards. The US Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has reached a proposed settlement with both the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) regarding deadlines to issue the annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requirements. The odd thing is that the EPA will release the final 2014 standards by the end of 2015. It will also issue the final standards for 2015 and 2016 by the end of 2015. So, basically, by November 30, 2015, ethanol producers in the US will know what the standards are for three years, two of them in the past. Conveniently, the EPA is expected to set the 2014 levels to the amount that was actually used last year.

The EPA is also going to finalize the biomass-based diesel volume requirement for 2017 by the end of November. The EPA will issue proposed numbers by June 1 for all of these requirements before the final figures come out in November. The EPA said in a statement that, "the proposed consent decree does not address the content or substance of the volume standards." The settlement is the result of a lawsuit brought by API and AFPM since the EPA did not issue RFS numbers when it was supposed to.

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