Lawmakers from the Democratic party stood against Renewable Fuel standard waivers this Wednesday; after they sent a letter to the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) urging it to reject any action that would exempt refiners from their obligations with the RFS.
Firstly, as we reported previously, the RFS mandates that oil refiners in the U.S. must blend certain amounts of biofuels into their mix; or, buy credits from those that do. Those credits are known as RINs.
However, refiners can call for exemptions from those obligations if they can prove them to be financially prejudicial for their business. During the Trump administration, those waivers nearly quadrupled; which confronted refiners with farmers and biofuel producers.
Secondly, this Wednesday, lawmakers sent the letter to EPA signed by both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and states, including Iowa and Illinois. It included Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Representative Cheri Bustos from Illinois.
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Lawmakers urge Biden to reject any more waivers
Thirdly, according to Reuters, the letter came after the news agency reported that President Joe Biden is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. oil refiners from the mandates; as his administration is enduring pressure from labor unions and U.S. senators; including from his home state of Delaware.
Moreover, the letter, as quoted by Reuters, said. “We support your efforts to address climate change; but we are concerned that rolling back the RFS obligation for refiners directly contradicts this work. Following through on the actions reportedly under discussion would directly undermine your commitment to address climate change; and therefore, the efforts to restore integrity to the RFS; consequently, we urge you to reject them.”
In addition, lawmakers asked the EPA to, instead, issue a proposed rule for renewable volume blending obligations for 2021 and 2022; with stronger blending targets. Lawmakers also asked the agency to respond to a court remand to reinstate 500 million gallons of blending requirements; waived from 2016 blending targets.
Finally, for the Renewable Fuels Association the letter was a score. In a statement, the group said. “We’re grateful to these congressional champions for standing up for our nation’s producers of low-carbon ethanol and other renewable fuels,” said RFA President Geoff Cooper in a statement.”