EPA is proposing to deny petitions that would exempt small refineries from blending biofuels into their fuel mixes, as obligated by the US Renewable Fuel Standard. Tuesday's announcement comes after a 2020 ruling by the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which tightened restrictions on when EPA could issue biofuel waivers and exemptions. The proposal still must go through a public comment process.
It's a notable change from the Trump administration, which increased the number of waivers issued to refineries -- prompting protests from farmers and biofuel producers.
"Despite multiple challenging dynamics affecting the RFS program in recent years, EPA remains committed to the growth of biofuels in America as a critical strategy to secure a clean, zero-carbon energy future," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement. "This package of actions will enable us to get the RFS program back in growth mode by setting ambitious levels for 2022, and by reinforcing the foundation of the program so that it's rooted in science and the law."