Biofuel Groups Ask EPA to Speed Up Approvals for Cellulosic Biofuel Pathways

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Progressive Farmer • Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018

OMAHA (DTN) — A group of United States senators at the center of recent Renewable Fuel Standard White House discussions reportedly are scheduled to meet again with President Donald Trump sometime this week.

Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, received White House invites for further discussions on either Monday or Tuesday.

This is the next in what has been a series of meetings with Trump and White House staff. So far, there’s no indication as to whether other administration officials including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt or Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be part of the meeting. A spokesperson for Grassley confirmed the senator was invited to the meeting, while Reuters reported Ernst, Cruz and Toomey also received invites.

At this point, it’s difficult to say what, if any, common ground can be reached on the RFS. So far, a number of other RFS meetings at the White House have failed to yield solutions.

Grassley and Ernst are among a group of senators who have been pressing Pruitt for information about a recent increase in RFS waivers granted to small refiners. DTN learned that, in all, there were about 40 such waivers issued in 2016 and 2017. In addition, Pruitt told a House committee last week the agency received at least 30 new waiver requests for 2018. At the same time, senators have been pressing EPA for a timeline as to when it will take action on allowing year-round E15 sales.

The chances for passing RFS reform this year seem to be slim. Cruz said during a recent rally with steelworkers in Washington that there was little chance of passing such reform in the Senate.