RFA Leader: EPA Eroding RFS — Assistant to President Says Search Continues for a Win-Win Proposal
by Chris Clayton (DTN The Progressive Farmer) A special assistant to President Donald Trump on agriculture said Wednesday, “the search for a win-win continues” in the debate over how to relieve oil refiners of their obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Ray Starling, a special assistant to the president, spoke at an Ag & Food Policy Summit sponsored by Agri-Pulse. Starling spoke on a range of topics, including touching on the latest with the RFS, calling it, “a contentious topic.”
“There is a lot at stake,” he said. “It is now so engrained in the economics of our ag world.”
Yet Starling noted, “Not everyone is a fan of the RFS and the way it works at the moment,” and he added that talks continue at the White House, and between leaders at USDA and EPA. “The search for win-win continues,” Starling said.
Starling added, “What can refiners put on the table to provide agriculture some comfort?”
Yet, some leaders in the ethanol industry argue that farmers and biofuel producers have already given up a lot of demand because of changes already made by EPA. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, told DTN in an interview Tuesday that EPA policy decisions are already eroding the Renewable Fuels Standard. Dinneen criticized the idea that the biofuels industry should have to give up any more to refiners.
“I keep asking why we have to give them anything,” Dinneen said. He added EPA Administrator “Scott Pruitt is giving them everything they want lately.”
Perdue suggested on Tuesday that Congress may have to resolve the issue. Dinneen said that would stretch out the debate and likely avoid a demand collapse from hitting farmers harder. “I don’t think Congress is going to be able to resolve this issue, which is good,” he said.
Based on conversations in the marketplace, Dinneen said, “We understand there are upwards of 30 waiver requests that are being granted. That again translates into hundreds of millions of gallons. You really don’t know because you don’t find out about it until a year or two later when they have to do a report that aggregates that kind of stuff. There’s no transparency whatsoever.” READ MORE
STARLING: RFS A CONTENTIOUS TOPIC (Southern Farm Network Today)
Sen. Heitkamp Opposes RIN Price Cap (Energy.AgWired.com; includes AUDIO)