The intense political battle over the future of biofuels is certain to continue and could heat up after 2022 as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) enters a new and uncharted phase, according to Scott Irwin, a University of Illinois agricultural economist.

“The future of biofuels is complicated, and it all depends on politics,” Irwin said last week during the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s agriculture conference. 

The current political battles were on clear display last week when biofuel advocates sharply criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for missing a key deadline for announcing 2022 renewable fuel obligations for refiners to comply with the RFS.

The EPA’s lack of ...