The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set its 2016 mandate for biofuel production at 17.4 billion gallons, well below the 22.25-billion-gallon target set by Congress.
“There are real limits to the actual amounts of biofuels that can be supplied to consumers at this time,” wrote Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe. “These proposed volumes are achievable in the time frames under consideration. At the same time, the volumes steadily increase every year, reflecting Congress’s clear intent to drive up the nation’s use of renewable fuel.”
“It’s Christmas in May for Big Oil,” responded Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). The EPA “continues to buy into Big Oil’s argument that the infrastructure isn’t in place to handle the fuel volumes required by law. Big Oil’s obstruction and the EPA’s delays and indecision have harmed biofuel producers and delayed infrastructure developments.”
Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dineen said EPA “continues to misunderstand the clear intent of the statute —to drive innovation in both ethanol production and ethanol marketing”—and “has eviscerated the program’s ability to incentivize investments.”