EPA Issues 2020-2022 Biofuel Blending Mandates, Denies Refiners Waivers

Reuters, June 6, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday issued biofuel blending mandates for 2022 and the prior two years - with this year's number below one proposed in December - while denying oil refiners waivers to be exempt from the requirements.

The EPA set biofuel blending mandates for 2022 at 20.63 billion gallons and retroactive volume mandates for 2021 at 18.84 billion gallons and for 2020 at 17.13 billion gallons. Though it denied the oil refiners' exemption petitions, the agency said it would allow extra time for small refiners to meet their 2020 blending obligations.

The EPA in December proposed to set volumes for 2022 at 20.77 billion gallons, for 2021 at 18.52 billion gallons and for 2020 at 17.13 billion gallons.

The volume mandates, typically set ahead of time each year, were delayed due to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which severely reduced U.S. energy demand.

"Together, these actions reflect the Biden administration's commitment to reset and strengthen the RFS (U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard), bolster our nation's energy security and support homegrown biofuel alternatives to oil for transportation fuel," EPA spokesperson Tim Carroll said.

The decision on the mandates has involved White House staff members, who have had to weigh how the policy could affect record-high gasoline prices, surging food costs and inflation, and Farm Belt constituents. Higher mandates can raise demand for corn and impose costs on fuel producers.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel pool or buy credits from those that do. The credits, known as RINs, are used by oil refiners and importers to show compliance with mandates.

Small refiners can receive an exemption from the requirements if they can prove financial harm from the mandates.

The law has been a hotbed of controversy, typically pitting the powerful oil and corn lobbies against each other.

Friday's announcement was welcomed by biofuel advocates, as the EPA set volumes for conventional biofuels, which includes ethanol, at 15 billion gallons for 2022.

"While the previous administration sold out to Big Oil, President (Joe) Biden is taking unprecedented steps to bolster markets for family farmers and drive economic growth in rural America," said Democratic U.S. congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois.

The oil refining industry said the decision to set 2022 volumes that high threatens the viability of small refineries. Refiners have long said that the obligations are too pricey.

"It's clear that the biofuel thresholds are now unattainably high," said Mike Smith, with the United Steelworkers union, which represents workers employed by the refining industry.

Reuters first reported the 2020-2022 biofuel volumes earlier on Friday.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Frances Kerry and Will Dunham)

Click here to read the full article from Reuters.

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Training Solutions

Improve your skills in key mechanical integrity subjects.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos & Webinars

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.