Bloomberg: EPA to recommend lower biofuel blending mandates

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to recommend 2021 biofuel blending mandates lower than in 2020, Bloomberg reported.

In a statement Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said, “I’m disappointed to hear the EPA is planning to lower the minimum required renewable fuels volumes for this year.”

“If the reports are true, then once again, the EPA is giving a gift to Big Oil and is playing games with the Renewable Fuel Standard law. This has been a particularly difficult time for Iowa farmers and producers and they don’t need the additional uncertainty this announcement brings,” Grassley said.

“Releasing the proposed volume obligations for 2021 when we are already more than halfway through the year is completely unfair to members of the biofuels community. EPA can’t just keep painting over this gaping hole of a problem that leaves the regulated community with more questions than answers.

“President Biden must keep his promise to biofuels producers to limit welfare to Big Oil, and promote greater reliance on renewable fuels. The president has the opportunity to ensure that his EPA follows the law to maintain and grow the amount of biofuel that are required to be blended.

“Farmers and biofuels producers know and feel the negative impact of the agency’s reported actions. The Renewable Fuel Standard makes gasoline more affordable, generates good-paying jobs, reduces oil imports and reduces our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll continue working to ensure the administration follows the law and keeps its commitments to America’s renewable fuels producers.”

But Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., led a coalition of Republican senators in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, urging him to reduce the volumetric requirements.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper responded in an email, “Yesterday’s letter from oil state GOP senators is par for the course and just rehashes the same tired arguments that have been disproven time and time again. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Senators Cruz, Cornyn, Inhofe, Barrasso and their Republican anti-ethanol colleagues are circling the wagons to protect the status quo for Big Oil and continuing their efforts to undermine cleaner, greener renewable fuels. We expect Administrator Regan and the White House will see right through this charade.

“Asking EPA to waive the 2020 RFS standards — which were finalized by the previous administration in 2019 — is a fool’s errand; EPA has repeatedly stated that it does not have the authority to go back in time and change RFS volumes that have already been finalized. And the Biden administration knows that reducing the 2021 and 2022 RFS volumes would derail the president’s agenda related to clean energy, climate, and domestic manufacturing jobs. It would also mark a big step backward on the path to net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

“RFA continues to urge EPA to preserve the 2020 RVOs (that were finalized nearly two years ago) and move expeditiously to adopt strong RVOs for 2021 and 2022, including the statutory allotment of 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel annually.”


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