After many complaints from refiners who claim their ability to blend it into fuels without putting engines at risk has been exceeded, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to lower the legal requirements on the use of ethanol next year.
According to the new plan, the mandate would be lowered to 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2014 instead of the 18.15 billion gallons established by a 2007 law, states an internal proposal. The agency would mandate the utilization of 13 billion gallons of conventional corn-based ethanol and a further 2.21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like biodiesel, a decrease from the targeted 13.8 billion gallons and 2.75 billion gallons respectively for this year, it said.
The EPA proposal is “addressing both availability of qualifying renewable fuels and constraints on their consumption,” the agency said in the draft.
The administration of President Barack Obama, which is allowed according to the law to make modifications to the legal requirements, could still opt to modify the plan prior to the EPA issuing it in the coming weeks. After that, the proposal could again suffer further changes before being finalized by the US Environmental Protection Agency.