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EPA under fire on biomass mandate

Nov. 21, 2012 at 6:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The EPA is called to reconsider biomass mandates for diesel fuel because "unintended consequences" may affect refiners and consumers, a trade group said.

The Environmental Protection Agency in September increased from 1 billion gallons to 1.28 billion gallons a target volume for biomass-based diesel for 2013 under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers group filed a petition calling on the EPA to reconsider the 2013 mandate.

"Since the EPA initially issued the rule, a number of factors have surfaced that could result in unintended consequences that will adversely impact both the domestic refining industry and U.S. consumers, as well," the group said.

The petition follows a decision by the EPA this week to keep ethanol standards in the RFS in place. Some in the agricultural sector said the requirements would hurt them financially because of low corn harvest yields brought on by this year's drought.

AFPM President Charles Drevna said the increase for biomass-based diesel meant consumers would have to pay at least $253 million more collectively for their transportation fuel bill in 2013.

"The U.S. economy is still struggling and this increase will hurt the millions who rely on transportation fuels," he said in a statement.

When the EPA set the new limits, the National Biodiesel Board said the use of biofuels would boost U.S. energy security that's vulnerable to extreme fluctuations on the global petroleum market.

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