Dinneen says proposed so-called compromise would be “the worst”

Source: By Julie Harker, Brownfield • Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The head of the Renewable Fuels Association says a potential “compromise” between big oil and renewable fuels on the renewable fuels program will NOT be good for the U.S. biofuels industry. Bob Dinneen tells Brownfield Ag News, “The so-called compromise that we hear is coming from the White House shortly, perhaps today, maybe later this week, is anything but a compromise. In fact, I would maintain it’s the worst of all possible worlds.” The expected deal would allow exported gallons of biofuels to qualify for the domestic fuel requirement, the RFS. Dinneen says that would undermine the domestic industry AND the foreign renewable fuels market.

In related news, Dinneen says ethanol and biofuels groups have no other option but the courts to try and stop the EPA from granting hardship waivers to large refiners that don’t need them and for making up lost volumes because of them, “We want to make sure that gallons lost as a consequence of these waivers are reallocated in some fashion. And, unfortunately, we don’t believe we have any recourse BUT to go to the courts.”

Today, the RFA and several groups filed a petition in court to force criteria for making up those volumes. Last week, the groups filed suit in federal court challenging RFS waivers granted to three refiners but have petitioned for a stay of those proceedings for the time being.

Dinneen says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s actions go against President Trump’s public support of the biofuels industry, “Scott Pruitt has a refinery-first fuel policy and anything that he can possibly do to ease the so-called burden on refineries, whether it’s this program or any other, he will be very creative in doing.” Dinneen says they are hoping Pruitt responds and does the right thing. He tells Brownfield, the EPA’s actions are a “slap in the face” to U.S. farmers.