Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — U.S. renewable fuel quotas may end
up higher than a proposal issued last year because gasoline use
is climbing, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief said.
Administrator Gina McCarthy told an investors’ conference
in New York that the quotas, which are months overdue, will be
released soon. She declined to discuss any specific figures,
while laying out the rationale for a modest increase.
Tim Cheung, a research analyst at ClearView Energy Partners
in Washington, predicted the EPA will require 13.6 billion
gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline for vehicles —
about 600 million gallons more than the agency proposed.
“We think the upward revisions are probably going to be
limited,” Cheung said in an interview.
Investors, representatives of refiners Valero Energy Corp.
and Tesoro Corp. and ethanol producers such as Poet LLC are
awaiting the EPA’s final quotas to figure out this year’s
requirements and anticipate the future course of the program.
The cost of a renewable fuel credit, or RIN, used by refiners to
meet the mandate, increased to about 50 cents in recent months,
after collapsing to 18 cents Nov. 15.
It was that day that the EPA issued draft 2014 standards to
require the use of 15.21 billion gallons (57.58 billion liters)
of renewable fuels, including about 13 billion gallons of corn
ethanol and 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel. That’s a 16
percent cut from 18.15 billion gallon total in the 2007 law.
The EPA agreed with refiners who said they are limited in
how much ethanol can be blended into the overall fuel supply.
Ethanol and other renewable-fuel producers argue that only if
EPA forces refiners to use a higher share of renewable fuels
will they come up with ways to cross the so-called blend wall.
McCarthy’s comments today don’t indicate that the agency is
rethinking its analysis of the blend-wall constraints, Cheung
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