MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected so far one petition from an oil refiner to be exempted from the nation's biofuel blending laws for the 2019 compliance yr, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The move comes at a time when the oil and biofuel industries await an indication from the Biden administration on how it will approach blending requirements under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Though the EPA, which administers the RFS, rejected the one petition from 2019, it still has to decide on 32 pending petitions for that yr.
Under the RFS, oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation's fuel mix, or buy tradable credits from those that do. Refiners can request a waiver from the EPA that would exempt them from those requirements if they can prove the obligations would do them financial harm.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the EPA delayed a decision on blending requirements for 2021, and a finalized rule has been late by nearly a yr. The deadline for 2022 requirements is the end of this mos.
The oil industry and the biofuels industry have been at odds over the regulations for yr. The biofuels industry says the exemptions hurt demand for their products, while independent refiners reject that claim and say that exemptions are needed for smaller refineries to stay afloat.
Aside from the 2019 compliance yr, EPA's website shows that there are 28 pending petitions for 2020 and three pending petitions for 2021. The EPA was to decide on a petition from United Refining Co by Friday, after the company filed a lawsuit against EPA administration for the delay in deciding on the company's 2019 exemption petition. United Refining did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As per MRC, US Environmental Protection Agency would propose to extend deadlines for refiners to prove compliance with biofuel laws, but signaled it would not decide on a slew of pending waiver requests submitted by the industry. The agency’s proposal represented mixed news for refiners hard hit by slumping energy demand during the coronavirus pandemic and eager to sidestep regulatory costs associated with US biofuel blending policy. It also marks one of the last actions from President Donald Trump’s EPA before he leaves office on Jan. 20.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.