The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose trimming biofuel usage mandates for 2021, while increasing the renewable volume obligations for next year, a Capitol Hill source confirmed to Agri-Pulse on Friday.
The agency's proposed quotas for 2021 and 2022 were expected to be sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review by Monday, sources said.
Reuters and Bloomberg also reported that the agency is expected to send proposals to the White House that would “balance competing oil and agricultural interests,” Bloomberg reported. Reuters also reported that the RVOs would be cut for 2021 but increased for 2022.
The biofuel mandates have been a political hot button since President Joe Biden has served in the Obama administration.
The delay in setting the 2021 RVOs "injects uncertainty into the marketplace and that impacts the success or lack thereof, of renewable fuel producers,” Brian Jennings, CEO of American Coalition for Ethanol, said earlier this week in an interview with Agri-Pulse.
Biden slammed the Trump administration nearly a year ago on the campaign trail for delaying annual volume requirements in the RFS.
“A Biden-Harris Administration will promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers, and will honor the critical role the renewable fuel industry plays in supporting the rural economy and the leadership role American agriculture will play in our fight against climate change,” Biden said in an exclusive statement to Agri-Pulse.
The RVOs are published each year by EPA to set the amount of biofuels needing to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply the following year. The proposals are typically released in mid-summer and must be finalized by Nov. 30.
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Reacting to news reports, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa was disappointed to hear EPA was planning to lower 2021 volume proposals.
“President Biden must keep his promise to biofuels producers to limit welfare to Big Oil, and promote greater reliance on renewable fuels," Grassley said in a statement. "The President has the opportunity to ensure that his EPA follows the law to maintain and grow the amount of biofuel that are required to be blended."