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Exclusive-U.S. EPA mulling cuts to biofuel blending in win for oil industry -document By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Signage seen at headquarters of United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., U.S.A, May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing big cuts to the nation’s biofuel blending requirements for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to a document seen by Reuters, in a move that is sure to anger farmers and biofuel producers.

It is an important win for oil, which had argued for cuts because of a slowdown in fuel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Document showed that the agency proposed to reduce 2020 and 2021 mandates by approximately 17.1 billion and 18.6 billion respectively. This would be less than the 20.1 billion gallon level that was set for 2020 prior to the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to the document, the agency would also set 2022’s level at 20.8 billion gallons.

Although the EPA declined to comment on this story, administration officials warned that these numbers were not final and could be subject to changes before they are cleared for interagency review. To begin the review process, the agency sent its proposal to the Office of Management and Budget in August.

Oil refiners are required to mix biofuels into their fuel mix or tradeable credit, also known as RINs from others, under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. If they are able to prove that the financial obligations will be detrimental, small refiners may apply for an exemption from the rules.

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