Perdue revises E15 remark; EPA says it will complete rule on time

By Erin Voegele | February 28, 2019

The U.S. EPA has issued a statement confirming plans to complete its E15 rule by June 1. The statement was issued in response to remarks made by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Feb. 27 in which he said the rulemaking would not be complete by that deadline. Perdue has since revised his position.

Perdue appeared before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Feb. 28 to discuss the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. During the event, Perdue corrected statements he made the previous day regarding the expected timing of the EPA’s E15 rule.

“I was speaking on the latest information I had,” he said. “I was overruled by the Acting Administrator yesterday, who based on his confirmation hearings and his vote today I think has committed once again to drive his troops in order to get that done by June 1.”

The previous day, on Feb. 27, Perdue appeared before the House Committee on Agriculture. During that event, he said the E15 rule “probably will not be out for the driving season” and cited the recent government shutdown as the reason for the delay. 

Following Perdue’s Feb. 27 testimony, the EPA released a statement providing an update of its E15 rulemaking and verifying that the proposal will also address renewable identification number (RIN) market reform.

“EPA is planning on releasing its RVP/RIN market reform proposal in March, and working expeditiously to propose and finalize the rule consistent with the President’s direction before the start of the summer driving season,” said the agency in its statement.

Several hours after the Feb. 27 hearing, Perdue tweeted a photo of himself meeting with Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the USDA offices with a short statement thanking him for “moving expeditiously to finalize E15 rule before the start of the summer driving season.”

A video of the Feb. 28 hearing is available on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s website