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Biden Administration Mulls Complete Revamp Of Biofuels Mandate

The U.S. Biden Administration is mulling a complete revamp of the nearly two-decades-old biofuels mandate, according to Bloomberg.

The EPA will issue an official proposal to amend the Renewable Fuel Standard on Thursday and could expand the standards to go beyond gasoline, diesel, and other liquid fuels and into the larger decarbonization of the transportation arena.

The proposal would lift the amount of biofuel that must be mixed into gasoline and diesel over the next few years to possibly as much as 22.68 billion gallons by 2025. For comparison, the 2022 mandate is for 20.87 billion gallons. The proposal would call for as much as 15.25 billion gallons of conventional ethanol—but at the current 10% E10 gasoline ceiling, refiners wouldn’t be able to utilize that much, as is.

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The EPA will solicit public feedback on how best to promote low-carbon biofuels while protecting the nation’s precious—and already diminishing—oil refining assets. It also is asking for feedback on whether the renewable fuel requirement that it sets should be below the “blend wall” that refiners hit by the E10 definition.

The EPA said that its proposed revamp for the biofuels standards “will set the stage for further growth and development of low-carbon biofuels in the coming years,” adding that during the transition period away from fossil fuels, “maintaining stable fuel supplies and refining assets will continue to be important to achieving our nation’s energy and economic goals as well as providing consistent investments in a skilled and growing workforce.”

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The EPA has until June 14 to set the biofuel quotas.

For electric vehicles, the EPA is considering the creation of an eRIN credit awarded when certain renewables sources, such as RNG, are used to power EVs. The credit could possibly be split between EV makers like Tesla, and the generators of biogas-powered electricity—incentivizing automakers to produce more EVs.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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