Corn-state lawmakers ramp up pressure on Trump to protect RFS

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2020

More than 40 bipartisan lawmakers are calling on Trump to deny requests from oil-state governors to waive this year’s biofuels blending requirements, slamming those requests as “unjustified” and “contrary to the EPA’s well-established precedents.”

The lawmakers’ Monday letter to Trump comes as the EPA is weighing how to respond to petitions from six governors to waive the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standards requirements, which they say are causing severe economic harm amid the coronavirus pandemic. The EPA also has yet to respond to petitions Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said it’s received from several small refiners for exemptions from prior years of the RFS.

Biofuels producers are turning up the heat on EPA: They say the EPA isn’t being transparent about the “gap” petitions for exemptions it’s received, and they’ve slammed such requests as an attempt by oil refiners to circumvent a federal court decision limiting the EPA’s ability to grant small refinery waivers.

“Without further clarification, EPA appears to be reverting to a secretive pattern in the management of RFS refinery waiver petitions,” a coalition of biofuels groups, including the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board, and Growth Energy, wrote Wheeler on Tuesday. “It is difficult to give EPA the benefit of the doubt on SREs.”