EPA proposes smaller requirements for biofuel use

EPA proposes smaller requirements for biofuel use

November 18, 2013

"The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed lowering requirements for biofuel use in 2014, trimming targets for corn-based ethanol for the first time.

The proposal would set ethanol use at 15.21 billion gallons, just under 10 percent of motor-fuel consumption and 16 percent lower than targets established by Congress in 2007.

It angered farm groups, corn-ethanol producers and supporters of biodiesel, but it mollified oil companies, which have long argued that if the content of ethanol in motor fuel exceeded 10 percent — known as the blend wall — it might damage cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers. Groups representing ethanol makers say that mixing higher levels of ethanol with gasoline would not harm vehicles.

“Facts are facts,” said Stephen H. Brown, vice president for governmental affairs at the oil refiner Tesoro. “They’re so stubborn even this administration has to accept them.”

“They’re capitulating to the oil companies,” Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said of the administration. He said that the EPA’s proposed targets would hurt farmers and violate the spirit of the renewable fuels standard Congress adopted. “The RFS was about forcing marketplace change,” he said, “and EPA is giving the oil companies a get-out-of-jail-free card.”

The EPA proposal, which includes target ranges for each kind of renewable fuel, will be subject to comment before the agency settles on quotas in the first quarter of 2014."

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