Market News & Headlines >> EPA Sets Renewable Fuels Mandates; Denies Waivers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued biofuel blending mandates for 2022 and the prior two years – pegging this year’s mandate slightly below the level it  proposed in December - while denying oil refiners exemptions from the requirements.

The EPA set biofuel blending mandates for 2022 under the renewable fuels standard (RFS) at 20.63 billion gallons and set retroactive volume mandates for 2021 and 2020 at 18.84 billion gallons and 17.13 billion gallons respectively. In accordance with a court order, the agency also finalized a supplemental requirement of 250 million gallons in 2022 to offset illegally waived volume from the 2016 RFS.

Though it denied 69 pending petitions from oil refiners for so-called small-refinery exemptions from the RFS mandates, the agency said it would allow extra time for small refiners to meet their 2020 blending obligations.

The EPA in December proposed setting RFS blending volumes at 20.77 billion gallons for 2022, 18.52 billion gallons for 2021 and 17.13 billion gallons for 2020.

While the 2022 RFA mandate announced on Friday was slightly below the December proposal, the ethanol industry praised Friday’s announcement. “At long last, the RFS is being put back on track. Today’s actions by EPA and the Biden administration restore integrity and stability to the RFS program after several years of wanton mismanagement and abuse by the previous administration,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

“The combination of a strong RVO for 2022, restoration of illegally waived volume from 2016, and a new direction for the SRE program puts the RFS program on solid footing for the future. We thank Administrator Regan and President Biden for honoring their commitments to implement the RFS in a way that is fair, transparent, and focused on growth,” Cooper said in a press release.