(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw
NEW YORK (Reuters) -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing big cuts to the nation’s biofuel blending requirements for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to a document seen by Reuters, in a move that is sure to anger farmers and biofuel producers.
The proposal is a win for the oil industry, which argued for the cuts due to an overall slowdown in fuel demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The agency would reduce the mandates for 2020 and 2021 to about 17.1 billion gallons and about 18.6 billion gallons, the document showed. That would be lower than a level of 20.1 billion gallons that was finalized for 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency also would set the level for 2022 at about 20.8 billion gallons, the document showed.
The EPA did not comment for this story, but administration officials cautioned that numbers are not final and still subject to revisions before clearing an interagency review process. The agency sent the proposal to the Office of Management and Budget to start the review process in August.
Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel mix, or buy tradeable credits, known as RINs, from those that do. Small refiners can apply for the exemption to the rules if they can prove the obligations financially harm them.
Exclusive-U.S. EPA mulling cuts to biofuel blending in win for oil industry -document
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