Biden team holds policy talks with biofuel groups

US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has held calls with biofuel groups on topics including compliance with biofuel blending laws and Biden’s low-carbon climate vision.
The discussions with biofuel trade groups as well as POET, a top company in the cellulosic bioethanol industry, come as the industry positions itself as part of Biden’s fight against climate change.
Michael Regan, tapped to head the US Environmental Protection Agency, has also reached out to agricultural and biofuel trade groups, Reuters has reported.
The conversations also focused on increasing access to fuels with higher blends of ethanol.
The biofuels industry had a difficult relationship with the Trump Administration.
Its handling of the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) fuelled anger among farm groups who saw the current White House as giving concessions to larger refiners.
Under the RFS, refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation’s fuel mix, or buy credits from those that do. If refiners can prove the requirements will cause financial harm, they can apply for exemptions to the rules.
The Trump administration quadrupled the number of exemptions it gave out, stoking anger from biofuel groups that claim the waivers harmed ethanol demand.
The biofuel groups spoke with the Biden transition team about compliance with the RFS.
The biofuel industry has placed themselves in the climate discussion, as higher ethanol content in gasoline can reduce carbon emissions. Biden has pledged to invest in developing next-generation fuels and in research to develop cellulosic biofuels.

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