Valero renews push for EPA to tweak U.S. biofuels program

Source: BY CHRIS PRENTICE, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Valero Energy Corp on Monday renewed its push for U.S. regulators to change the country’s controversial renewable fuel program.

The country’s largest independent refiner is petitioning Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to tweak the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to move the responsibility of complying with the program further downstream, according to a letter from Valero dated June 13.

The move follows similar efforts from Valero in court and public comments over the last year.

The RFS, which is managed by the EPA, requires oil refiners and importers to show they are blending ethanol and other renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel. Valero is pressing EPA to consider making fuel sellers at loading racks where trucks pick up the fuel those responsible for proving they are blending the biofuels.

Those companies are also refiners, importers, rack blenders and large retailers.

The current structure of the program does not boost use of the fuels by companies that have the ability to blend more biofuel, and some retailers are making windfall profits selling paper credits to prove compliance to others that need them, Valero said.

The more than decade-old program has been embroiled in controversy, as corn ethanol producers and oil companies battle over how much ethanol can be blended with gasoline without major infrastructure changes.