Biofuels memo in tap

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The White House is expected to release a memo on its proposed changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard, following a confab early last week on the topic. Ethanol and oil industry sources tell Pro’s Eric Wolff the document will lay out the permanent expansion of sales of 15 percent ethanol fuels. But it will likely be vague on other details, particularly around allowing ethanol exports to receive Renewable Identification Numbers, and how EPA plans to reallocate ethanol volumes lost due to the exemptions it granted to small refiners who complained the mandates were hurting their businesses. “What is totally unclear right now is how are they going to define the hardship exemption. They don’t have clarity on that,” said a refining source. “And the export RIN, does that stay forever, or does that go away at some point in time?” Read more.

CALIFORNIA SCHEMIN’: The president has tasked Pruitt and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao with exploring negotiations with California on a single fuel economy standard, following a meeting with auto industry executives on Friday. The Associated Press reported this weekend that both Pruitt and Chao will handle the talks with California officials, according to two people briefed on the meeting. An administration official said the two agencies have had meetings and discussions with California officials on the issue for several months, and two auto industry trade groups confirmed that Trump was willing to talk with California officials. A move to revoke the state’s authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions would set off a major legal battle with California — a thorn in Trump’s side for much of his tenure so far. During Friday’s meeting with automakers, sources told the AP one executive brought up how it would be better for the industry to have one standard instead of two, and Trump instructed Pruitt and Chao to go to California for talks.