EPA Receives 52 New Petitions for Retroactive Biofuel Blending Waiversjwasilewski
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 52 new petitions for retroactive biofuel blending waivers that, if granted, would circumvent a court ruling this year that nullified a number of those waivers, EPA data showed on Thursday.
The new pending applications for blending exemptions are for compliance years 2011 through 2018. The waivers exempt oil refiners from U.S. laws that require they blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel pool.
In January, the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that waivers granted to small refineries after 2010 had to take the form of an “extension.” The decision called into question the future of the EPA’s exemption program because most of the recipients of waivers in recent years have not continuously received them each year since 2010.
The waivers have been a battleground for the oil and corn lobbies, both major constituencies of President Donald Trump. Biofuel advocates say the waivers hurt demand for corn-based ethanol, while the oil industry refutes that claim and says the obligations are too pricey.
Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel, or buy credits from those that do. Small refiners that prove the rules would financially harm them can apply for exemptions.
The EPA is in charge of granting exemptions after the Department of Energy reviews applications.
The Energy Department’s Mark Menezes said last month that the EPA had asked the department to review waiver requests from refiners covering past years, but the agency had not reported the petitions on its dashboard until Thursday.Content within the Farm Journal Forum is the property of Farm Journal, Inc and protected by copyright.