US proposes for oil refiners to increase role of biofuels in fuel mix

The regulation aims to support the agricultural sector and reduce the country’s dependence on oil

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed US oil refiners increase the volume of biofuels blended into their annual fuel output.

The move, which comes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), will see the mandatory volume of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel each year increase to 20.04 billion gallons in 2020, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019.

The regulation aims to support the agricultural sector and reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

Waivers are offered to refining facilities that would suffer financial harm from increasing the proportion of biofuel in their product – the EPA has not reallocated these waivers, saving the oil industry money but potentially reducing demand for corn and other biofuel crops.

The EPA has said “conventional” renewable fuel volumes would be maintained at the implied 15-billion gallon target set by Congress, while the advanced biofuel volume requirement for 2020 is proposed to rise to 5.04 billion gallons.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “Unlike the previous administration, we have consistently issued the annual renewable volume obligations rule on time, which is critically important to America’s farmers and all stakeholders impacted by the RFS programme.

“We are on track to meet the deadline on time for the third year in a row and continue to provide greater regulatory certainty to farmers and refiners across the country.”

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