Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Exclusive-White House delays biofuel mandates due to political concerns -sources

World Jul 20, 2021 05:05PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An ethanol plant with its giant corn silos next to a cornfield in Windsor, Colorado July 7, 2006./File Photo

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The White House has delayed an annual process meant to decide how much ethanol and other biofuels U.S. oil refiners need to blend into their fuel each year, as it seeks a solution for an issue that pits refinery workers against corn farmers, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Lawmakers who represent constituents from both industries have been pushing the Biden administration on the issue for months. Refiners want low volumes of biofuels to keep costs down, while the farm industry wants high volumes to pump up sales of corn-based ethanol and other products.

The White House has largely stayed out of the discussions but is now hoping to take control of the matter, the sources said.

Ron Klain, President Joe Biden's chief of staff, is involved in the discussions, the sources said. Lawmakers representing corn-producing states, including Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth from Illinois and Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, have made direct pleas to Klain.

A White House official declined to comment on whether the administration had delayed the process, but said it was "not involved in the specific rule-drafting process" at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA, which administers the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, did not immediately provide comment.

The White House review comes as the Biden administration is hoping to keep Democrats unified on pushing through a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package that funds most of the president's top priorities.

Democrats, who have slim majorities in both chambers of Congress, are likely going to have to move the bill along a party-line vote.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend biofuels into their fuel mix, or buy tradable credits, known as RINs, from those that do.

The law has been a battleground between the oil and corn industries for years. It has created a 15 billion-gallon-per-year market for corn-based ethanol that has helped farmers.

But petroleum refiners say it adds costs because they either have to invest in biofuel blending businesses, which smaller refiners say is not a viable option, or buy credits from refiners that already blend.

Both the refining and corn industries have waited anxiously for the EPA to announce proposals for the amount of biofuels refiners must blend in both 2021 and 2022. The 2021 proposal is already more than half a year delayed because of the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which upset energy markets.

The EPA has in the past introduced proposals for the following year during the summer, after a review from the Office of Management and Budget.

Many expected the EPA to send the proposals for both 2021 and 2022 to the OMB in June. That did not happen and a series of court rulings on issues related to the RFS and the biofuels market has amplified confusion around the program for both industries.

It was not immediately clear when the EPA would send proposals to the OMB to begin a formal review.

Exclusive-White House delays biofuel mandates due to political concerns -sources

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email