EPA Expected To Seek Reduction In 2021 RFS Blending Mandates To Below 2020 Levels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to recommend to the White House a reduction in 2021 federal renewable fuel blending mandates to below levels approved for 2020.

The EPA also is expected to make a separate recommendation to increase blending mandates for 2022 above the previous two years.

Annual blending mandates are determined in part by consumer fuel demand forecasts made by the Department of Energy during the previous calendar year. It is likely the EPA is calling for a reduction in 2021 blending mandates to offset the significant drop in fuel demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mandates for 2021 have already been delayed by more than half a year because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a group of 17 Republican senators from oil producing states sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to waive or significantly reduce annual blending mandates for 2021 and 2022.

According to the letter, the reduction in demand for refined product and the increased burden of RFS compliance requires the EPA to adopt lower blending mandates that “comport with reality.”

The senators told the EPA that significantly lower blending mandates in order to avert additional financial hardship for consumers and to maintain the economic viability of U.S. refineries.

Earlier this year, EMA sent a letter to the EPA Administrator Michael Regan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese requesting urgent action to reduce the corn ethanol mandate to 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand to address the current E15 crisis.

The Administration is under significant pressure to provide relief from labor union leaders and Senators from his home state of Delaware.

Click Here for a copy of EMA’s letter.

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