Bakers push Biden administration to ease biofuel requirements

Source: By Karl Evers-Hillstrom, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2021

Bakers push Biden administration to ease biofuel requirements

The American Bakers Association, which represents baked goods companies such as Krispy Kreme and Pepperidge Farm, is pushing the Biden administration to lessen biofuel requirements.

The trade group told officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and members of Congress that supplies of key ingredients such as soy and canola oil could run low amid an increase in demand for biofuels made from the same plants, Reuters reported.

“We are trying to ring the alarm without being alarmists,” Robb MacKie, the group’s president, told Reuters.

The effort comes as the EPA considers how much biofuel, such as corn-based ethanol, should be blended with gasoline and diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Bakers want the EPA to lower the percentage of biofuel to 2019 levels or at the very least block an increase to the percentage.

The American Bakers Association has expanded its lobbying efforts this year. The group spent nearly $114,000 on lobbying through the first half of the 2021, almost doubling its spending from the same period last year, according to OpenSecrets.

The trade group’s effort is backed by the oil industry, which has long fought to roll back biofuel mandates. They say that the cost to purchase biofuels hurts struggling small refineries.

They’re going up against the biofuel industry, which is making the case that plant-based fuel can help cut down on carbon emissions. Those companies say biofuel requirements should be expanded to help farmers who have endured trade wars and low commodity prices.

Midwestern senators have similarly urged President Biden to use biofuels as part of his climate agenda as a way to support farmers.

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