No word yet from Trump administration on refinery biofuel waivers – Grassley

Source: By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

(Reuters) – U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa have asked the Trump administration not to appeal a court ruling that would slash the use of small refinery biofuel waivers, but have not heard back yet on its decision, Grassley said on Monday.

“We haven’t been told one way or another officially,” he told reporters on a conference call.

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard requires oil refiners to blend billions of gallons of biofuels like ethanol into the nation’s fuel pool, a boon to U.S. corn country.

But the Environmental Protection Agency that administers the program grants waivers to small refineries that can prove compliance would cause them financial strain.

The Trump administration has roughly quadrupled the number of waivers EPA has granted, infuriating the biofuel industry and its representatives who say they hurt demand.

A court in January ruled that the EPA had been overusing the waivers in a decision that could gut the program.

A group of Texas lawmakers has been urging the Trump administration to appeal the decision, arguing it could cost countless blue-collar jobs in the refining industry.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis