Cornyn’s biofuels bid

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico • Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018

Texas Republican John Cornyn is drawing up ideas for new legislation to overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard, in a bid to end the stalemate between corn-state lawmakers and oily ones. “Cornyn’s office has been hosting talks for months on altering the biofuel program, and he’s developed a range of policy options, from creating national octane standards to creating new supports for cellulosic ethanol or further subdividing the system for biofuel credits,” Pro’s Eric Wolff reports. The ultimate goal of Cornyn’s proposal, which he is developing in collaboration with Rep. John Shimkus, is to develop consensus options that could become the basis for an eventual RFS reform bill. “We’re trying to figure out what’s possible and talk to all the key players,” Cornyn tells Eric.

Cornyn is working on proposals with Sens. John Barrasso and Jim Inhofe, and said he’s hoping to get buy-in from corn states. Cornyn said Sen. Todd Young is interested in being involved, and he has consulted with heavyweights on the issue, Sen. Mike Rounds and Chuck Grassley. Grassley, for one, remained pessimistic of Cornyn’s effort. “I’m skeptical about whether the other effort out of Texas that’s been going on for more than a year will be able to find a proposal that is acceptable to stakeholder communities on all sides, but the effort deserves credit for taking the time to learn and appreciate the economics around renewable fuels,” he said in a statement.

But while Cornyn’s group hasn’t honed in on a single policy idea yet, an idea pitched by Marathon Petroleum keeps resurfacing, Eric reports. “That plan would preserve the 15 billion gallon annual mandate for corn ethanol, but it would split compliance into two categories: One for biofuel credits used in E10 that are capped at the ‘blend wall’ that is near 9.7 percent of the U.S. gasoline consumption, and another for ethanol used in higher blends, such as E15 or E85.” Read more.