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White House reviewing 2019 biofuel mandates: Update

09 May 2018 22:44 (+01:00 GMT)
White House reviewing 2019 biofuel mandates: Update

Adds sourcing details.

Houston, 9 May (Argus) — The White House has begun reviewing proposed minimum renewable fuel blending levels for the US transportation supply in 2019 and 2020, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted proposed blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for interagency review, the first step before releasing proposed volumes for comment later this spring.

The White House did not comment on the status of the annual review. It did not appear in a list of pending orders as of this afternoon.

The White House Office of Management and Budget will review renewable fuel blending targets for 2019 and biodiesel blending for 2020. RFS requires refiners, importers and other companies each year ensure minimum volumes of renewables blend into the gasoline and diesel they add to the US transportation supply. EPA's renewable volume obligation process sets those minimum volumes.

The program has already received extensive presidential attention this year. A series of meetings seeking to broker a deal between agriculture and refining interests to change the mandates concluded yesterday, the White House said.

The "final decision" was to move forward with clean air waivers allowing the sale of higher-ethanol blends and cost relief for refiners. But there were scant details of how to legally accomplish those changes from the agency level, and sources familiar with the process doubted the agency would include those changes in the proposed volumes.