The Environmental Protection Agency has sent annual blending targets to the White House for regulatory review, kickstarting a process that will set two years’ worth of biofuel usage requirements.
An EPA spokesperson confirmed to Agri-Pulse the agency submitted proposed renewable volume obligations to the Office of Management and Budget Thursday.
“The proposal aims to get the RFS program back on track while addressing challenges stemming from decisions made under the prior administration,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that the agency will continue to work with RFS stakeholders to get feedback about the proposal as they work to finalize the rule later this year.
Capitol Hill sources were told last week that EPA is expected to propose reducing the renewable volume obligation for 2021 but increase the mandate for next year.
The agency is required by the law that governs the Renewable Fuel Standard to set annual renewable volume obligations dictating the amount of biofuels that are to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. The Trump administration did not complete that process in 2020, which will lead to an announcement of multiple years of blending targets this year.
OMB will conduct a review of the figures – which media reports suggest will attempt to thread the needle between competing agriculture and energy sector interests – and return the proposal to EPA, which will release it publicly.
Farm and biofuel groups are pushing for 15 billion gallons of ethanol in the targets and an increase to the 2.43-billion-gallon biomass-based diesel goal set in recent RVOs.
Under the law, the requirements are to be released annually by the end of November. The proposals are typically released earlier in the year and are subject to public comment.
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This story was updated at 2:31pm EDT to include EPA's statement.