The Renewable Fuels Association has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a December 20 letter to explain why it missed a November 30 deadline to finalize renewable fuel requirements for 2012. The letter sent by the ethanol trade group said issuing the volume requirements of the renewable fuels standards is necessary to provide the ethanol industry with market certainty as it begins planning production for 2012.

EPA is required to issue the standards by November 30 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  EPA did not give an answer as to when the standards might be issued or the reason for the delay. EPA proposed in July to require 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuel, about 9.2 percent of all fuel used in the United States in 2012.  That requirement would be up from 13.95 billion gallons in 2011.