A recent federal appeals court ruling last month tightened eligibility for ethanol blending waivers. As a result, the Trump administration is on track to stop approving so many waivers it had been handing out to oil refineries. It’s a major win for corn growers and biofuel producers.
However, refiners and oil-state lawmakers are asking the president to step into the situation. Thirteen Republican senators sent the president a letter warning that the 10th Circuit Court decision if it’s applied nationally, would “jeopardize nearly all small refineries” and raise gasoline prices for U.S. drivers. They are asking Trump to file a petition for a rehearing and potentially seek a Supreme Court review of the decision.
Politico says the White House has long been struggling to strike a balance between oil and agriculture in their standoff over the Renewable Fuels Standard. The January court decision made it more difficult for the president to find a compromise on an issue that has angered farmers more than any other administration policy, including the trade war.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the agency will be issuing guidance on the blending waivers within “days, not weeks.”