President Trump approves E15 sales year-round with no RIN cap | TheFencePost.com

President Trump approves E15 sales year-round with no RIN cap

The Fence Post staff report

President Trump in a meeting at the White House approved year-round sales of E15 with no cap on renewable identification numbers.

The National Corn Growers Association was pleased with the announcement saying that by doing so Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to farmers.

"We have numerous questions, however, about a potential plan now being developed by USDA Secretary (Sonny) Perdue and EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt to address small refiner waivers by potentially offering biofuels credits on ethanol exports, an idea that would harm our ethanol export success," said Kevin Skunes, president of the NCGA. "NCGA has opposed RIN credits on exports, an idea that EPA stated last fall that it would not pursue. Offering RIN credits, which are supposed to be derived from a domestic renewable fuel use, for ethanol exports would threaten trade markets and impact corn farmers' economic livelihoods. Pursuing a path that includes RIN credits on export gallons would violate the letter and spirit of the RFS, serving the interests of oil refiners who have already benefitted from Administrator Pruitt's unprecedented RFS volume waivers at the further expense of America's farmers.

"We appreciate the agreement on eliminating the outdated regulation on higher blends such as E15, a barrier that has long needed removal, and thank Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for their tireless efforts on behalf of agriculture. However, many questions remain unanswered as Secretary Perdue and Administrator Pruitt determine next steps and provide more details. Moving forward, NCGA will continue to advocate for policies that protect our farmer members."

The Advanced Biofuels Business Council also praised Trump's action but was somewhat skeptical about how it would happen.

"President Trump scored a big win by putting a final nail in the coffin of the refinery-backed RIN cap scheme. We're also encouraged that the White House has told EPA Administrator Pruitt to get to work immediately on a long-overdue fix to summer regulations that limit sales of E15," said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the ABBC. "But, as Senator Grassley said, the devil is in the details. (Sen. Ted) Cruz (R-Texas) now wants to reintroduce an old gimmick proposed by Valero. The plan would likely involve assigning RINs to some unknown volume of biofuel exports. Our champions made it clear to the White House that any plan that cannibalizes domestic growth would be a non-starter, which means that export RINs should quickly end up on the cutting room floor. Pruitt vowed to reject the same scheme in 2017. It doesn't just threaten biofuels, it could spark retaliatory tariffs on any number of U.S. industries.

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"President Trump also tasked the USDA and EPA with reexamining the destructive waivers granted to major refiners under the RFS. Cruz seems to think export RINs could fill the void left by EPA actions, but it won't take long for stakeholders to realize that his solution would only dig the hole deeper and likely drag down the entire rural economy.

Poet Senior Vice Presiden of External Affairs and Communications said he was pleased with President Trump's decision, and accused Cruz of pushing for oil refinery bailouts.

"It's disappointing that Ted Cruz continues to push the administration for more legally flawed bailouts for oil refiners that threaten to destroy the growth of renewable fuels and rural jobs. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires that biofuels are blended into America's fuel supply to fulfill our nation's environmental, economic and energy security goals."❖