The Obama administration on Friday moved to cut back the national biofuels mandate, a step that was welcomed by gasoline refiners and food groups but strongly criticized by the biofuels and farm lobby.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a 2014 target of about 15.2 billion gallons of biofuels blended into motor fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard. That level, if adopted, would represent a cut of more than 1.3 billion gallons compared to 2013, or about an 8 percent reduction.

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