Oil refiners will have to use 18.11 billion gallons in 2016 based on targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The requirements are above ones proposed by the agency in May but are below statutory targets.
The levels are is part of a program authorized by Congress 10 years ago that requires steadily escalating volumes of biofuels to be blended into the country’s gasoline and diesel fuels. The law, designed to shrink the nation’s dependence on foreign crude and curb greenhouse-gas emissions, has pitted oil companies including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. that oppose using more biofuels against farmers in the corn-rich Midwest who’ve argued for higher amounts.
Ethanol is projected to consume 38 percent of this year’s corn crop.
Last year, the EPA decided to put off setting 2014 quotas, saying it would issue rules for 2014, 2015 and 2016 this year. In May, it proposed targets that fell short of levels mandated in the law -- raising the ire of renewable fuel advocates and setting off a flurry of lobbying in Washington.