White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow is working on improving the Trump administration’s plan for bolstering biofuel requirements. Bloomberg says the move comes after ethanol boosters in politically important farm states said the current proposal doesn’t compensate for waivers that exempt some small refineries from the mandates under the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Biofuel producers, corn farmers, and Midwest political leaders blasted the Environmental Protection Agency’s current approach to biofuels as inadequate. They say the EPA mandates completely ignored the terms of an agreement reached on October 1st to raise biofuel blending requirements enough to fully offset refinery exemptions. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says the EPA could have the best of intentions but “farmers don’t believe it” because of the agency’s track record.
Oil industry leaders say the EPA’s current proposal is illegal, arguing that it would unfairly force the larger refineries to bear a higher burden of biofuel-blending requirements. EPA is currently reviewing public comments as it prepares a final rule that will set the 2020 biofuel quotas.
Kudlow’s work could lead to changes in the final rule that would ensure the final measure is more in line with what Trump gave approved in negotiations that led to the October 1st agreement.