Biofuels cap alarms corn states

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Negotiations to alter the contentious biofuels program may include a trigger mechanism that would kick in to cap prices for biofuel credits, Pro’s Eric Wolff reports. But the proposal is already hitting heavy resistance among corn growers and senators from big ag states. The White House has supported recent talks between refining and agricultural groups to change the Renewable Fuel Standard, and modest progress has been made in recent days, Eric writes. Participants have been discussing an EPA waiver to expand sales of 15 percent ethanol gasoline blends – a plan that would also provide an incentive for those sales by attaching a multiplier to increase the number of Renewable Identification Numbers to help lower the costs for refiners.

The new discussion around a triggered price cap is an attempt to overcome opposition to refiners’ proposal for a fixed two-year price cap that was discussed at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump in February, Eric writes. “Our biggest concern right now is that there continues to be out of the White House talk about a cap on RINs,” said Jon Doggett, executive vice president for the National Corn Growers Association. “And until that’s off the table and that’s not going to happen, all the rest of these proposals are for naught.” Read more.

Speaking of RIN caps: Delaware Sen. Tom Carper sent a letter to Trump on Friday urging him to instruct the EPA to take action to stabilize price volatility in the RIN market. “As someone who has both constituents who benefit from the RFS program and constituents who work at several of the last merchant refineries along the East Coast, I understand full well the difficulty of finding common ground on this issue,” Carper wrote.