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The EPA is seeking to issue a final rule setting 2020 biofuel blending quotas by Dec. 20, the agency's chief told industry representatives in phone calls late last week.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler gave the update to renewable fuel producers after industry concerns that the EPA's existing proposal does not do enough to offset waivers exempting refineries from the mandates, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named describing private conversations.

The EPA was seeking to send its draft of the final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for an interagency review late last week, Wheeler said, according to four people familiar with the timing.

Agency officials have described similar ambitions to other biofuel and oil industry representatives, though release of the final rule could still slip to next year.

The calls follow a Bloomberg News report that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was working to hone the agency's current proposal.

EPA officials have maintained that the agency's plan is consistent with a White House-brokered agreement to adjust biofuel-blending requirements and fully offset refinery exemptions, though renewable fuel producers say the formal proposal falls short of the guarantee they need.

Under that proposal, the adjustments would be based on recent Energy Department recommendations for refinery waivers, not the higher amount the EPA has actually granted in recent years. However, the EPA also signaled that it will closely follow those recommendations in the future.

SundayMonday Business on 12/08/2019

Print Headline: Biofuel blending quotas on EPA radar

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