The US Environmental Protection Agency has asked industry groups for their input on national biofuel policy after its current phase ends in 2022, Reuters reported sources as saying on 15 April.
These consultations would provide a new opportunity for the petroleum, corn and biofuel lobbies to reshape the divisive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) regulation, Reuters wrote.
Under the RFS, oil refiners must blend increasing billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel mix each year or buy tradeable credits from other parties that carry out blending.
The policy is unpopular with the petroleum industry due to its cost and promotion of a competing biofuels sector, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the corn and biofuel sectors would like to see the programme expanded to help farmers hit by years of low commodity prices and trade disputes, the report said.
Under the regulation, the EPA would have discretion over annual mandated volumes from 2023, taking over that responsibility from Congress.
Oil and biofuel groups had begun meetings with the EPA to discuss how the agency could approach the RFS after that date, the report said.
The RFS currently centres around four categories of renewable fuels: biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and conventional biofuels such as ethanol.
Some of the groups, such as the American Petroleum Institute are advocating for the EPA to use the RFS to encourage increased use of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, instead of conventional biofuels such as ethanol, according to the report.
However, Advanced Biofuels Business Council executive director Brooke Coleman told Reuters that the EPA should not discourage production of conventional biofuels in favour of other biofuels.
The National Biodiesel Board told Reuters that the EPA should ensure that the RFS keeps up with anticipated growing demand for biodiesel and renewable diesel.