Oil industry to ‘vigorously’ fight Trump’s RFS changes

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019

The American Petroleum Institute rallied against the Trump administration’s recent moves to boost ethanol, vowing to “vigorously” fight what it deemed a politicized action to benefit Midwestern farmers.

“This is a political convenient departure from the previously balanced approach this administration has taken under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Frank Macchiarola, API’s vice president of downstream and industry operations, said in a press call Thursday. “The only viable way forward is for this misguided policy to be withdrawn.”

The Trump administration lased week vowed to increase federal mandates for production of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel. The EPA is expected to issue a rulemaking in the coming weeks to formalize the proposed changes, which include expanding biofuel requirements so that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and expanding sales of E15.

EPA said it will continue to give economic hardship exception waivers to small refiners, but will also force large refiners to blend more biofuels to make up the difference.

Farmers’ anger has peaked over EPA’s generous use of these exemptions. API said it opposes EPA’s new plan for the exemptions.

“There is no logic in forcing competing refineries to bear the burden of decisions outside their control,” Macchiarola said.