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US biofuels industry awaits blending decisions

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was committed to increasing the use of biofuels, but the industry was still awaiting the Biden administration to finalise specific blending goals.
Both oil refiners and corn-based ethanol producers are looking closely at the agency's planned sweeping decisions on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) - the nation's biofuel blending law, which is due to enter a new phase at the end of the year.
Under the RFS, oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel mix, or buy credits from those that do.
Oil refiners historically have been able to receive waivers to the obligations, known as Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE).
The previous Trump administration about quadrupled the number of exemptions it gave out, stoking anger from biofuel groups that claim the waivers hurt ethanol demand. The oil industry disputes that and says the waivers help keep small refiners afloat.
Last year under the Biden administration, the EPA proposed denying all pending SREs, Reuters reported.
Additionally this year, the Biden administration must make decisions to reset statutes that mandate US renewable fuel blending, a process known as the Set. Congress only set yearly volume requirement targets of renewable fuel for the RFS programme through 2022.
"We must look both backwards and forwards as we consider what volumes may be appropriate," an EPA spokesman said.