EPA Waivers Anger Ethanol Industry & Lawmakers

The late-Friday announcement of 31 waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard angered ethanol groups. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the small refiner waivers, which exempt refineries from the RFS.

However, ethanol and corn and soybean groups say the waivers destroy demand. The Trump administration has now waived granted more than 50 waivers since 2016, representing more than three billion gallons of biofuels. The Renewable Fuels Association says more than 14 ethanol plants in the U.S. have recently shut down, three permanently, as a result of the waivers.

House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says the waivers will “only make things worse” for farmers. He touted the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019, which would stop the EPA from “recklessly granting” waivers to oil refineries and undermining the market for ethanol.

Meanwhile, the EPA announced further exploration of removing burdens on E85 and flex-fuel vehicles. And, EPA also noted its communication with the National Corn Growers Association, working to expedite the reregistration of atrazine.