US EPA proposes higher biofuel blending volumes, EV program

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw

NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed on Thursday increases in the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that oil refiners must blend into their fuel over the next three years.

The agency is also proposing incorporating electricity made from renewable biomass and used for electric vehicle use into the program for the first time. The agency's long-awaited proposal will call for overall blending mandates of 20.82 billion gallons in 2023, 21.87 billion gallons in 2024 and 22.68 billion gallons in 2025.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), oil refiners are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel mix, or buy tradeable credits from those that do.

While Congress set out specific goals through 2022, the law expands the EPA's authority for 2023 and beyond to change the way the RFS is administered. Starting next year, the agency has leeway to set multi-year mandates and make other changes.

Reuters previously reported the total blending volumes on Wednesday, citing sources.

The EPA's biofuel mandate for the current year is 20.88 billion gallons, which includes the annual volume requirement plus a supplemental 250 million gallons added to compensate for volumes that were not blended in previous years.

The EPA is proposing adding a supplemental 250 million gallons for 2023, the agency said in the announcement on Thursday.

Advanced biofuel blending volume mandates in the EPA proposal will be set at 5.82 billion gallons in 2023, 6.62 billion gallons in 2024 and 7.43 billion gallons in 2025.

So-called D3 credit volumes will grow from 720 million in 2023 to 2.13 billion by 2025. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)