US biofuel blending mandates may rise slightly in 2021

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed increasing the amount of biofuels that refiners must blend into their fuel next year, Reuters reported two sources as saying on 20 May.

Proposals by the EPA to increase the biofuels blend to 20.17bn gallons (76.35bn litres) in 2021 from 20.09bn gallons (75.74 litres) this year would include 15bn gallons (56.78 litres) of advanced biofuels, the sources were reported as saying. The advanced biofuels mandate would include 670M gallons (2.53bn litres) of cellulosic biofuel, up from 590M gallons (2.23bn litres) in 2020, they were reported as saying.

The 2022 mandate for biodiesel would be set at 2.76bn gallons (10.44bn litres) from 2.43bn gallons (9.19bn litres) in 2021, the sources said.

A spokesperson from the EPA, which sets biodiesel mandates two years ahead, declined to comment.

The EPA is responsible for setting biofuel and biodiesel blending requirements for the refining industry as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a regulation aimed at helping farmers and reducing US dependence on oil. Under the RFS, refiners have to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation’s fuel or buy credits from those that do. Small refineries can be exempted from biofuel blending if they can prove that complying would cause them financial problems.

The EPA draft proposal was being reviewed by the White House, Reuters said.