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The EPA is requiring refiners to blend 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel into traditional transportation fuel next year, vs. a 1-billion gallon requirement for 2012.
According to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the new biofuel blending requirement meets goals set forth by Congress and is "another step that strengthens America's energy security by reducing dependence of foreign oil."
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the new blending requirements will also create more rural jobs. "Over the past three years, we have doubled generation from renewable energy and today's announcement by the EPA will ensure that we are continuing to utilize biodiesel to help meet our energy needs, create jobs and strengthen the rural economy," he said, as reported by The Hill.
Although the EPA believes the increased blending requirement, part of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), is crucial to the growth of alternatives fuels, not everyone is convinced. Republicans have criticized the move as a way to prop up the biofuels industry, the website reported.
In addition, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has sued the EPA in regards to the RFS. "EPA's mandate will unnecessarily raise the cost of making diesel fuel," Bob Greco, API's downstream group director, said in a statement. "By picking energy winners and losers, the EPA takes away consumer choice and further threatens public acceptance of biofuels.