U.S. EPA aims for December for 2021 biofuel volume proposal

Source: By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters • Posted: Monday, December 14, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now aiming for Dec. 31 as the point by which it will propose rules on the amount of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel mix next year, after missing a deadline last month to release the proposal.

Under the adjusted timeline, the agency will aim to finalize the rule on the so-called Renewable Volume Obligations in June 2021, according to the agency’s agenda on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ website.

EPA is in charge of administering the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel mix each year, or buy tradable credits from those that do.

The regulation is a lightning rod of contention between the corn industry, which supports it because it creates demand for ethanol, and the refining industry, which opposes it because it is costly and competes with traditional petroleum fuels.

The EPA missed a Nov. 30 deadline for issuing the obligations this year, after the process was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout for the fuel industry.

EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall