EPA Weighs U.S. Biofuel Blending Mandates Below 2020 Levels

Predicted changes could be a blow to the biofuels industry.

August 24, 2021

Biofuels in Barrels

NEW YORK—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to recommend federal biofuel blending mandates for 2021 that are below 2020 levels, according to a Reuters report. In addition, the EPA is expected to recommend boosting the blending mandates for 2022 above the previous two years.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has sapped fuel demand, the agency reportedly wants to lower the amount of biofuel that refiners are required to blend into the nation’s fuel pool. The EPA is expected to propose both mandates at the same time, the sources said. The proposals could change during a formal interagency review process.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the fuel mix or buy tradable credits, known as RINs, from those that do. Refiners can apply for exemptions to the mandates if they can prove that the obligations will harm them financially. Mandates for 2021 have already been delayed by more than half a year because of the pandemic.

The mandates are meant to reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil.

Don’t forget to register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on fuel retailing, including the sessions EV 101: What is EV/EV Charging and Why It's Important; Inspect, Detect, Correct, & Maintain: How to Maximize Fuel Equipment Uptime and Disappearing Gallons: Cause & Effect on October 5; EV 201: How Do I Do EV? on October 6 and EV 301: The Economics of EV Charging and Trends in Biofuels and a Bridge to the Future on October 7.