A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 renewable fuel volumes in the face of challenges from both the biofuels and oil industries, but also ordered EPA to re-examine the impacts of the program on the environment, particularly endangered species.
Bills introduced in the House and Senate would allow summertime sales of higher ethanol blends, addressing a recent court decision that found the Environmental Protection Agency's waiver allowing year-round sales of E15 exceeded legislative intent.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan reiterated his “open-door” policy for agriculture as the agency develops regulations and policies, and said biofuels, “especially advanced biofuels,” will be part of the Biden administration’s transportation agenda as it tackles climate change.
Even as President-elect Joe Biden pushes for electric vehicles, the biofuel industry argues he can also make progress on his climate goals by expanding biofuel usage mandates, embracing a low carbon fuel policy and increasing vehicle emissions standards.
Biofuel trade association Growth Energy says it will sue the Environmental Protection Agency over its missing of the Nov. 30 deadline to announce new blending requirements for the nation’s biofuel mandate.
Ethanol, corn, and biodiesel groups worry the Environmental Protection Agency will punt finalizing blending targets for the Renewable Fuel Standard to the new administration, which could delay action in a year of massive uncertainty.