U.S. EPA ups biofuel targets slightly, draws scorn from refiners

Reuters

Nov. 30, 2017

By Jarrett Renshaw and Richard Valdmanis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it will require fuel companies to blend slightly more biofuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel next year, angering oil refiners who view them as a competitive threat.

The announcement follows weeks of lobbying by Midwestern lawmakers and representatives of the corn industry who wanted the agency to reject recent proposals from the oil industry to water down the U.S. biofuels mandates.

“Maintaining the renewable fuel standard at current levels ensures stability in the marketplace and follows through with my commitment to … upholding the rule of law,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a news release.

Pruitt is expected to travel to an invitation-only event in Iowa on Friday and highlight the administration’s commitment to the ethanol industry.

The U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard requires refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply every year as a way to boost U.S. agriculture, slash energy imports and cut emissions.

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