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RFA Statement on White House Meeting on RFS

RFA Statement on White House Meeting on RFS

This morning, President Trump convened a meeting at the White House with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), for yet another discussion on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As a result of the meeting, it appears consensus was reached regarding allowing the year-round use of E15, a positive step forward for the ethanol industry. Participants in the meeting also apparently reached agreement regarding the issue of a price cap on RINs, but there will be no more discussion of a price cap going forward. The issue has been put to rest. However, great concern remains regarding the number and impact of recent RFS compliance exemptions that have been granted to highly profitable refining companies. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) continues to believe an effort should be taken to reallocate the exempted volumes, which likely totals 1.6 billion gallons or more. It has been suggested that the lost volumes could be reallocated by allowing exported ethanol gallons to count toward an obligated party’s blending requirement. Below is a statement from RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen:

“We are very grateful the President has affirmed his commitment to remove the regulatory barriers to the year-round use of E15, and we look forward to working with EPA to get this done as quickly as possible. We are also pleased that the President appears to recognize the harm that has been done to the RFS, ethanol producers, and rural America from the unprecedented number and scope of hardship waivers. However, the notion of allowing exported ethanol to count toward an oil company’s RFS obligation is extremely problematic. Depending on potential implementation, allowing exports to qualify for RFS compliance could dramatically reduce domestic ethanol demand, while most certainly resulting in retaliatory trade barriers from the countries importing U.S. ethanol. Our trade partners in the international market certainly would not understand why the lowest-priced ethanol in the world requires an export subsidy. The real disgrace with a proposal of this nature, however, is that ethanol producers and farmers would bear the brunt of any retaliatory tariffs; they would be subsidizing highly profitable oil companies, who would benefit from the reduced RINs costs. In no way will that ever be acceptable or considered a win for our industry.”

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