EPA gets to work on a waiver

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico • Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018

Sources tell Pro’s Eric Wolff that a possible rule allowing expanded sales of higher blends of ethanol in gasoline is in the works. EPA has begun to lay the groundwork on the move, showing just how close ethanol producers and their allies in Congress are to winning administrative approval for year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol in all states. USDA has been pushing EPA to move forward with the E15 waiver, but any waiver would draw strong opposition from the oil industry, likely setting up a challenge in court. It is unclear however if the work at EPA was to build up some background info to help inform administration officials’ pending decisions on the waiver, or if staff had been ordered to write a proposal, Eric reports.

– EPA responded that the agency “has been awaiting a clear outcome from the ongoing RFS discussions with the White House, USDA and Congress before making any final decisions or developing any associated regulatory actions,” spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement.

Sonny speaks: Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday that he agrees with Midwestern lawmakers’ assessment that EPA is misusing economic “hardship” waivers to exempt large oil refineries from meeting biofuel blending requirements under the RFS. Read more from Pro’s Catherine Boudreau.