Ethanol Lobby Group Blasts EPA Chief Over Backdoor Refiner Deals

The leading ethanol lobby group blasted Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt Thursday, saying the latter’s clandestine waiver program for US refiners has cost ethanol producers billions of dollars.

The ethanol lobby, which includes corn and soybean farmers, has been at loggerheads with some in the oil refining industry for several years over the Renewable Fuel Standards program that has mandated refiners to blend an increasing amount of ethanol into their transport fuels or buy renewable identification numbers (RINs) to cover their obligation.

The debate has come to a head since Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ (PES), which is owned by private equity Carlyle Group and a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, filed for bankrutpcy protection in January, citing the burden of its RINs obligation. The bankruptcy court Thursday relieved PES of much of its RINs obligation, basically blessing a deal struck last month with the EPA allowing it to pay about $350 million, or only one-third of its 2016 and 2017 biofuel blending obligation.

It also was reported by a number of news outlets this week that EPA has been granting waivers to as many as 30 refiners — some part of large, profitable companies, including Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) — and may have 30 more pending.

“The EPA basically has been giving these waivers out to any refiner who asks for them,” Geoff Cooper, spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Assoc. said on AgriTalk, a farm-focused radio broadcast. “It’s extremely troubling,” he said of the two dozen or so “hardship” waivers apparently granted to refineries, some owned by large and profitable refining groups or oil majors.

In terms of how many have been granted or are pending, Cooper said: “We’ve seen numbers as high as 30 [for each], but there is no transparency. EPA is just doing these things in the dark of night and we have no idea of the volume [of ethanol] impacted,” adding that RFA has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the number of waivers.

He noted that the lack of transparency, and the fact the RIN market works retroactively, so that RINs to cover 2016 ethanol blending obligations only just settled last month, has led to wild volatility in RINs prices.

EIA data indicate that total ethanol blended last year was only about 14.4 billion gallons, falling well short of the obligatory amount of 15 billion gallons, apparently due to the waivers granted by EPA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550