RFS Wrangling Continues: GOP Senators Ask for Small-Refiner Waiver Suspension
by Todd Neeley (DTN The Progressive Farmer) Details have yet to emerge from a planned meeting at the White House on Monday between President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet regarding possible changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The meeting reportedly was scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and was to involve Trump, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and others, during which they were to discuss ideas for making changes to the RFS.
Sen. Ted Cruz and refining industry interests have suggested capping the price of renewable identification numbers, or RINs, at 10 or 20 cents, as a way to control RFS compliance costs for refiners. In exchange, ethanol industry interests have been pushing for EPA to approve year-round sales of E15.
In the meantime, prior to the cabinet meeting, five Republican U.S. senators asked Trump on Monday to suspend RFS small-refiner waivers.
On Monday morning, the hashtag #RFSWorks was trending on Twitter, as ethanol interest groups, ethanol plant owners and operators, farmers and others were flooding Twitter with tweets urging Trump to stand by his commitment to the RFS.
Claremont, Minnesota-based A1-Corn Clean Fuel, an ethanol cooperative, tweeted: “In other @EPAScottPruitt related bad news, EPA grants ‘hardship waivers’ for companies that made $1.5B last year, while leaving farmers suffering from true economic hardship behind. RVP relief for E15 & higher blends is a real solution @realDonaldTrump #RFSworks” READ MORE
Republicans to Trump: Tell EPA to stop ethanol waivers (Washington Examiner)
Senators Urge White House to Suspend RFS Waivers (Hoosier Ag Today)
Senators cry foul over EPA waivers (E&E News)
Biofuel groups condemn EPA’s decision to award waiver to Andeavor (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
Senators ask Trump to stop EPA from misusing waiver authority (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
RFA FOIA request demands answers on EPA small refiner bailout (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
#RFSWorks Takes Twitter by Storm (Energy.AgWired.com)
HARVARD PROFESSOR SAYS KEY TO REDUCING RIN PRICES IS BLENDING MORE ETHANOL (Brownfield Ag News)
Refinery waivers adding US ag anxiety: Perdue (Argus Media)
Ag Secretary Says RFS Waivers Create Demand Destruction (Energy.AgWired.com)
Perdue discusses RFS waivers during Senate hearing (Biomass Magazine)
Senator Grassley talks RFS and Farm Bill (Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network; includes AUDIO)
Biodiesel Board Wants EPA Records (Energy.AgWired.com)
Fortunately, Unfortunately: The Spring Saga of American Ethanol (Biofuels Digest)
Excerpt from Energy.AgWired.com: The hashtag #RFSWorks was trending on Twitter yesterday morning as farmers, ethanol and biodiesel producers, organization leaders, and dozens of other stakeholders sent on-line messages to President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as promised.
Many of the tweets took aim at EPA for granting dozens of small refiner hardship waivers, impacting demand for both ethanol and corn.
President Trump reportedly met with Pruitt and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Monday afternoon to again consider what can be done to appease oil refiners complaining about the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS), which have dropped 50% so far this year, yet still remain true to his promise to uphold the RFS. READ MORE