June 20 has come and gone. That's the date the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was expected to finalize the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard. And at press time the biofuels industry and agriculture in general are still waiting to learn whether the EPA will dramatically reduce the Renewable Volume Obligations (the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into conventional gasoline) that it proposed for the RFS last November.

The EPA’s proposal remains controversial. In fact, it has attracted the attention of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. On May 28, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the EPA to obtain records related to the agency’s proposal to significantly reduce the amounts of renewable fuels required to be blended into transportation fuel. CREW took action after Reuters published a report “How ‘Big Corn’ lost the ethanol battle to Philadelphia refiners.” The article suggested that, in an effort to financially benefit their refineries, The Carlyle Group and Delta Air Lines, worked with congressional representatives and even White House officials to improperly influence the EPA’s proposal.

At this writing, CREW had not yet received any response to its FOIA request. Therefore, CREW was considering suing the EPA, said Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director. “We’re interested in investigating improper government action. Policy should be made in the best interests of Americans, not the most powerful,” Sloan said. She added that the decision regarding the RFS “should be made on the basis of facts and science, not politics.”