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2009 June 16

Oil producers argue for delay in new US biofuel rules

David Landes
The US oil industry is urging the government to postpone new rules designed to promote biofuel use in the United States, arguing that too much work remains to be done.

Starting January 1st, 2010, new rules are set to come into force from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which require advanced biofuels to have 40 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum, the Reuters news agency reports.

But a representative from the American Petroleum Institute (API) argued that the EPA needs more time to complete preparations for implementation of the renewable fuel standards.

“It appears the only option possible is a 2011 start date,” the API’s Al Mannato said at a recent EPA hearing.

According to Mannato, the new rules would complicate how renewable fuels are tracked from producers to refiners.

In addition, there remains a lack of unity regarding exactly how the EPA should measure the extent to which biofuels reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

At issue is indirect land use estimates and whether or not they should be taking into account.

While environmentalists believe that changes in overseas land use patterns due to increased biofuel production ought to be included in emissions calculations, farmers and ethanol producers doubt the accuracy of such estimates, arguing they shouldn’t be a part of the equation used to measure emissions reductions.

Read the full article here.