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Biofuel Blending Brawl

Several U.S. oil refiners have racked up a whopping $1.6 billion deficit in biofuel credits. And much to the chagrin of ethanol advocates, rumor has it that President Biden may let them off the hook.

Refresher: The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires oil refiners to blend biofuels into their products. If they don’t, they can purchase compliance credits, known as “Renewable Identification Numbers” or “RINs” from those refiners who do.

COVID-19 strikes again: Due to lower fuel demand, higher RIN prices, and other economic woes stemming from the pandemic, refiners have fallen behind in compliance credits and are pressuring Biden and the EPA for relief.

Oh, and this: Sources also state that the EPA is considering holding steady or even lowering the RFS blending requirements for the upcoming year.

And that has a mixed bag of corn-state and climate-conscious lawmakers sounding alarm bells… including members of the president’s own party.

Twitter feed: “The Biden Administration & EPA should not be in the business of undermining the #RFS and destroying demand for Iowa’s farmers & producers,” tweeted U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-Iowa).

With new RFS announcements expected in the coming weeks, all eyes are on President Biden and the EPA to see just how serious they are about reducing fossil fuel dependency.

While we’re here: The world’s top two ethanol exporters, Brazil and the U.S., are expected to actually tamp down ethanol production in the coming months. Soaring prices of American grain and Brazilian sugarcane are raising production costs of ethanol… which is no bueno for the already surging fuel prices in both countries.