The Environmental Protection Agency wants industry groups to give input on where the future of U.S. biofuel policy is heading after the current phase finishes in 2022. Four sources told Reuters that this is a new opportunity for the oil, corn, and biofuel industries to reshape the Renewable Fuel Standard, the source of a bitter dispute between the industries for more than ten years.
Under the regulation, the EPA will have discretion over the annual mandated biofuel blending volumes from 2023 forward, taking over that responsibility from Congress. Oil and biofuel groups have begun to meet with the EPA and talk about ways the agency could handle the RFS after that date. While the EPA declined to comment to Reuters, some groups like the American Petrochemical Institute say they want the EPA to use the RFS to encourage increased use of advanced and cellulosic biofuels instead of conventional biofuels like ethanol. Brooke Colman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council says the EPA shouldn’t discourage conventional biofuel production in favor of other biofuels. “Any plan that displaces biofuel with biofuel is an innovation-killing non-starter that would cannibalize the industry revenue needed for investment in innovation,” Colman says.