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U.S. Oil Industry Wants to Delay New Biofuels Regulation

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. oil industry wants the government to delay for one year new rules that expand the country's use of biofuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a Jan. 1, 2010, target to apply the rules that require advanced biofuels to have greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent lower than petroleum, according to a Reuters report.

The American Petroleum Institute's Al Mannato said the industry would prefer a year's delay as it is unlikely EPA can complete work in time for a Jan. 1 start. "It appears the only option possible is a 2011 start date," said Mannato during an EPA hearing a proposal to update the renewable fuels standard.

EPA proposed changes to the Renewable Identification Numbers that flow with each gallon of ethanol as it passes through ownership chain from makers to refiners, Reuters reported.

Mannato said the new rules call for four types of RINs to be tracked, instead of one.

The 2007 energy law guarantees use of 36 billion gallons a year of biofuels by 2022, 15 billion gallons from conventional biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and 21 billion gallons from advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanol derived from grass. This year's target is 11.1 billion gallons of biofuels, Reuters noted.

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