Tug of War Continues Between Biofuels, Oil

The Renewable Fuels Association marked the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s visit to an Iowa ethanol plant by turning up the heat on the White House to better support the biofuels sector.

CEO Geoff Cooper says RFA is asking the administration to reject further attempts to grant the oil industry RFS waivers.

“And this goes back to one year ago today, to our discussion with the president at SIRE. We need the administration to faithfully enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard. And that means adopting the 10th Circuit decision nationwide, and refusing to let the statutory volumes be eroded by small refinery exemptions.”

Trump visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in June 2019, where he announced that EPA had completed regulatory changes to allow for year-round E15.

RFA sent a letter Thursday asking Trump to do more.

“We are continuing to face a lot of uncertainty and challenges with the RFS and how it is being implemented by EPA, and just wanted to get the president’s attention if possible and let him know that some of the issues we were dealing with a year ago still haven’t been resolved, or have actually gotten worse.”

In related news, oil refiners are aiming to escape biofuel blending rules by winding back the clock, asking the EPA for economic hardship status dating back to 2013 that would free them from their obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Small refineries made an unprecedented request that would free them from their annual RFS requirements, despite a recent court order that threatened to wipe out most of the annual blending waivers distributed under the current administration.

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that the agency could only extend the waivers for small refiners who had been continuously exempt from annual blending requirements since the start of the program in 2013.

Sources: Brownfield Ag News, Politico