WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifted its annual blending mandate for advanced biofuels by 15 percent for 2019, while keeping steady the requirement for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol, according to an agency document seen by Reuters on Thursday.
The mandate includes 4.92 billion gallons for advanced biofuels that can be made from plant and animal waste, an increase from the EPA’s initial proposal in June of 4.88 billion and above the 4.29 billion that had been set for 2018, according to the document.
The requirement for conventional biofuels remains at 15 billion gallons for 2019, on par with 2018 and the same as proposed by the agency in June.
The EPA is required to announce formally the biofuel mandate figures, which are closely watched by the rival corn and oil industries, by Friday.
Biodiesel blending credits rose 4 cents to trade at 46 cents on the report, before paring gains, two traders said.
Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, first adopted in 2005, oil refiners are required to blend a certain amount of biofuels, as determined by the EPA, into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do.
The policy has helped farmers by creating a huge market for ethanol and other biofuels, but oil refiners say compliance can cost a fortune.
The new figures confirm the agency has declined requests by the corn industry to reallocate biofuel blending obligations previously waived under the small refinery exemptions program, which has been expanded dramatically under the administration of President Donald Trump.
— Read on www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biofuels-exclusive/exclusive-epa-lifts-advanced-biofuel-mandate-for-2019-keeps-ethanol-steady-document-idUSKCN1NY2HQ