Biofuels makers and corn producers are not happy about the Environmental Protection Agency scaling back on renewable-fuel levels for next year, and they're united about who's to blame: the oil industry.
"EPA's proposal fundamentally betrays this administration's commitment to clean renewable fuels and caves to big-oil demands," said Brian Jennings of the American Coalition for Ethanol. Added Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen: "Last time I checked, the oil companies were doing pretty good on their own."
Petroleum groups are part of a coalition that has pushed for a reduction in the federal mandate for renewable-fuel production, arguing gasoline blends with higher ethanol content could prove damaging to engines and drive up fuel costs. "For the first time, EPA has acknowledged that the blend wall is a dangerous reality and must be addressed to avoid serious impacts on America's fuel supply and harm to American consumers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute. "[But] while the EPA took a step in the right direction, more must be done to assure Americans have the choice of fuel they want and we're continuing or call for Congress to act now."
EPA announced Friday that it is proposing to lower the statutory requirement for biofuels production in 2014 from 18.15 billion gallons to a recommended target of 15.21 billion gallons. The agency also proposes a range of 2 billion to 2.51 billion gallons of advanced biofuels with a recommended target of 2.2 billion gallons. The range falls below the proposed target of 3.75 billion gallons under the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007.