It’s oil co. vs. oil co. in latest RFS battle

Source: By ANNIE SNIDER, Politico • Posted: Monday, August 22, 2016

INTERNECINE BRAWL BREAKS OUT OVER RFS’ SMALL PRINT: A high-stakes fight over who should shoulder the burden for meeting the federal biofuels mandate has opened up a divide between independent refiners and bigger, integrated companies — players who have been in lockstep when it comes to trying to repeal the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Refiners, who are currently the ones responsible for meeting the mandate by blending ethanol into gasoline or buying credits to offset shortfalls, are trying to convince EPA to shift the point of compliance downstream to the companies that own bulk distribution terminals, Pro’s Elana Schor reports. It’s a change that could save refiners millions of dollars each year.

On second thought: The American Petroleum Institute, representing major oil and gas companies, agreed with refiners on the point as recently as last year, but has been putting up opposition since the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers petitioned EPA to change the point of compliance last month. “There are clearly API members that are benefiting in the current system and would stand to lose if the point of obligation were to change,” one refining industry source told Elana.

The battle or the war? The fight risks endangering both sides’ biggest goal: repealing the biofuels mandate, since Capitol Hill aides are always eager for a small tweak that can help them dodge no-win political issues like the RFS.