Energy & Environment

EPA delivers mixed results on biofuels blending requirements

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday finalized biofuels requirements with mixed results for the ethanol and oil industries. 

The EPA’s finalized requirements for 2022 would require a significant amount of biofuels like ethanol, which comes from corn, to be blended into gasoline. The agency also separately rejected requests from refiners for exemptions to blending requirements. 

The actions are a win for biofuels producers, and a blow to the oil industry.

But, the agency also handed a win to the oil industry by setting standards for 2020 and 2021 to be in line with actual usage during those years. 

The 2020 standard was particularly remarkable because the agency actually went back and changed a more stringent standard that was previously established. 

The change to the 2020 standard is expected to return blending credits to refiners, who could cash them in later in order to blend less ethanol into their gasoline in the future. 

​​The blending requirements issue pits two traditionally Republican constituencies against each other, as farmers and the oil industry are both components of the GOP’s base. 

Geoff Cooper, the president and CEO of the Renewable Fuel Association, a major biofuels trade group, told The Hill that he sees the outcomes as a win overall.

“We would describe it today as a good package for the renewable fuels industry,” Cooper said

Meanwhile, Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), said his group supports the 2020 and 2021 requirements, but called the other pieces of the EPA’s plan “bewildering” in a statement.

Tags Biofuels Environmental Protection Agency ethanol industry Geoff Cooper oil industry

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