News

November 25, 2019 - I realize that boring old governmental policy stories have taken something of a back seat to the impeachment follies this month, but there is one ongoing issue that shouldn’t drop entirely off the radar. And it’s one that has both political ramifications for 2020 as well as a direct impact on both businesses and consumers. There’s a really good analysis over at the Atlantic this week by Mario Loyola and it deals with the ongoing battle over ethanol mandates and the Renewable Fuel Standard...Click for Full Article

November 23, 2019 - Just a few years later, with its market share under assault from new non-OPEC oil producers, Saudi Arabia suddenly doubled production. Oil prices crashed around the world, and a decades-long oil glut ensued. So much for that doomsday fad. As a way to replace dwindling reserves of oil, ethanol subsidies had a certain brutal logic, especially if oil prices were going to keep rising with no end in sight. But as a way to address climate change, the program never made any sense...Click for Full Article

November 1, 2019 - On October 28, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a supplemental proposal on adjustments to the percentage standards for 2020 that result from the amended definitions of two terms used to calculate the percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Signed and pre-published on October 15, 2019, by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the notice of the proposed rule is no surprise...Click for Full Article

October 31, 2019 - It's time for the annual Congressional fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. In one corner sit corn farmers and their representatives, who fight tenaciously not just to preserve the RFS but to expand it. In the other sits, well, just about everyone else. Whether you are a refiner, a consumer, an environmentalist, a free market economist or just someone who cares about good government, there is ample reason to oppose the ethanol mandate...Click for Full Article

October 25, 2019 - According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this year’s “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, where oxygen levels are so low that sea life is killed or maimed, was larger than three U.S. states. One significant cause is agricultural runoff jettisoned from the Mississippi River, which feeds the massive algal blooms whose decomposition depletes water oxygen. Like many other ongoing environmental problems affecting the Midwest, this one is aggravated by the Renewable Fuel Standard...Click for Full Article

October 20, 2019 - The federal intent to boost ethanol in the gasoline mandate is being cheered by farmers and condemned by oil refineries. As a court battle looms, the government should alter course. The announced mandate, refined this month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will boost the amount of ethanol by up to 770 million gallons that oil refiners would need to blend to comply...Click for Full Article

October 16, 2019 - Despite assurances from Iowa Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst that Monday’s EPA announcement of proposed target blending volumes for cellulosic ethanol, bio-diesel and other man-made bio-fuels for the next two years are “good news,” leaders in those rent-seeking industries reacted to the proposal with outrage...Click for Full Article

October 15, 2019 - What with trade wars, floods and other disruptions, this has been a tough year for America’s Midwestern farmers, especially those who grow corn. To make matters worse, the demand for ethanol, which consumes 40 percent of the nation’s corn, has flattened in recent years, mainly because we don’t need as much gasoline to fuel America’s increasingly efficient passenger car fleet. In fact, gasoline consumption currently averages 370 million gallons per day, the same level recorded in 2003, even with 45 million more vehicles on the road...Click for Full Article

October 12, 2019 - The White House seems prepared to backtrack on its policy to reduce fuel standards and decrease ethanol mandates. Just this summer — only two months ago — the Environmental Protection Agency granted exemptions to 31 petroleum refineries that allowed them to avoid the expense of mixing ethanol in gasoline. This was a major victory for the refineries, the oil industry, drivers and consumers of food. Basically, it was good for everyone but farmers and ethanol producers...Click for Full Article

October 6, 2019 - We are a full four months away from Iowa’s first-in-the nation presidential primary, but refinery workers, supporting industries and consumers are already grappling with the consequences of politicians kowtowing to Hawkeye voters. From its home base in Iowa, the U.S. biofuels industry has elevated the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal policy requiring escalating volumes of biofuels like corn ethanol and biodiesel to be used in the U.S. transportation fuel supply, as a key election issue...Click for Full Article

October 6, 2019 - The ethanol lobby is like that greedy child on Halloween who is supposed to take one piece of candy at the door, but grabs a handful and runs away. Already guaranteed a share of the energy market through the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation which mandates that fuel used for transportation contains a certain amount of renewable sources like ethanol, Big Corn is reaching out for even more...Click for Full Article 

September 27, 2019 - New Mexico oil and gas officials called on U.S. President Donald Trump to maintain lenient policy regarding biofuel blending with petroleum during production at refineries across the state. In a Sept. 24 letter to Trump, Executive Director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association Ryan Flynn urged the President to not increase the ratio renewable fuels such as ethanol are required to be blended with refined petroleum, despite pressure from the biofuels industry...Click for Full Article

September 27, 2019 - The U.S. refining sector is a steadfast economic engine, supporting more than 2 million jobs and providing the affordable, reliable fuels on which America runs — the gasoline and diesel that take us to work and our kids to school, supply heavy construction equipment and enable first responders, and even power tractors on the farm. But refining jobs could be at risk, reliance on imports could rise, and consumers may face higher fuel costs if the White House advances proposals to dramatically increase biofuel mandates...Click for Full Article

September 24, 2019 - A quiet but intense lobbying battle in Washington between farmers and the oil refining industry can be resolved simply: The federal government should not raise the ethanol mandates in gasoline next year. That solution would not harm area farmers or ethanol plants but would help oil refineries nationwide...Click for Full Article

September 9, 2019 - Two years ago, the Washington Times published an opinion article that I wrote about rethinking ethanol mandates. Under provisions of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) enacted in conjunction with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, refiners are required to blend ethanol into gasoline. If their product does not contain 10 percent ethanol, they must purchase credits to offset the shortfall. The RFS also addresses “renewable” fuels other than ethanol, such as biodiesel made from soybeans....Click for Full Article

August 14, 2019 - Many national and state commodity groups and farm organizations have called for EPA to eliminate the small refiner exemption in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS requires refiners and importers to meet obligations for using certain amounts of renewable fuels. The exemption was included in the RFS law from the beginning to provide some assistance to companies producing relatively smaller amounts of fuel that would have difficulty meeting the requirement...Click for Full Article

August 11, 2019 - Despite once being included on an "Ethanol Enemies List", I would like to see a healthy U.S. ethanol industry. I think it's important for the U.S. to produce as much fuel as we can domestically, and it's important to keep U.S. farmers in business...Click for Full Article

August 10, 2019 - U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today thanked Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler for granting 31 exemptions that will protect Louisiana’s small refineries from financial devastation...Click for Full Article

August 9, 2019 - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement regarding the administration's decision to grant 31 waivers to small refineries, continuing a policy that Sen. Cruz has urged the administration to uphold...Click for Full Article

Another Day in Bureaucratic Hell

Wall Street Journal (Editorial)

August 8, 2019 - Modern bureaucratic government can sometimes be difficult to navigate. But this summer a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., issued a ruling on the administrative state that would make Kafka smile.The story begins in 2007 when Congress expanded the renewable fuel standard...Click for Full Article

July 30, 2019 - The head of the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency defended his agency’s expanded use of waivers exempting refineries from the country’s biofuel law during a closed-door meeting with farm state senators last week, arguing the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand, according to four sources with knowledge of the meeting...Click for Full Article

July 30, 2019 - Two US Senators have renewed their bipartisan efforts to repeal the ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), claiming that it negatively impacts the environment and increases prices. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have introduced the Restore Environmental Sustainability to Our Renewable Energy (RESTORE) Act which would abolish the ethanol mandate in the RFS....Click for Full Article

July 30, 2019 - Federal officials made a visit to Monroe Energy’s Trainer Refinery Monday morning to talk about removing a decade-old program that mandates the inclusion of corn ethanol in gasoline production. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler met with refinery staff...Click for Full Article

July 29, 2019 - Andrew R. Wheeler, the US Environmental Protection Agency administrator, visited the Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer on Monday and delivered a ten-minute address touting the Trump Administration’s energy policy without once mentioning the reason he was invited to Delaware County: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)...Click for Full Article

July 26, 2019 - Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is a champion of the corn-based ethanol industry when she campaigns in rural towns dotting the U.S. Farm Belt. But in Washington, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts is among the co-sponsors of the Green New Deal...Click for Full Article

July 22, 2019 - Four family members belonging to a Utah polygamist group admitted defrauding the U.S. of $512 million in renewable-fuel tax credits, with the leader saying the mastermind was an Armenian immigrant who owns a small oil and gas empire in Southern California. That businessman now faces trial alone...Click for Full Article

July 18, 2019 -  Does importing renewable fuel from overseas put America first? It is hard to argue in the affirmative, and yet, despite the Trump administration being on pace to make the United States a net exporter of energy, it has occurred frequently in the United States over the years because of the high compliance costs associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)...Click for Full Article

July 12, 2019 - The Democratic Party once prided itself on being the party of the working people. Its base was Americans who worked with their hands – blue-collar working men and women and small family farmers and ranchers. The goal of the party’s policies was always the same: raising the standard of living for working families...Click for Full Article

July 11, 2019 - The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been the subject of much debate since its debut in 2005. Initiated in an effort to enhance U.S. energy security while maintaining the viability of the country’s core fuel refining assets, the RFS has often found itself in the crosshairs of competing policy priorities from the two sectors it affects most: agriculture and petroleum. Yet, managed correctly, this often contested government mandate can provide the basis for a rare Washington “win-win.”...Click for Full Article

July 11, 2019 - Donald Trump has cited his move to allow year-round sales of high-ethanol gasoline as farmers pressure him to dial back decisions to exempt oil refineries from biofuel-blending mandates, signaling the president sees the two issues as related. Agriculture advocates have told Trump that his ethanol change -- which could expand U.S. sales of the corn-based fuel -- isn’t enough to offset government decisions to waive refineries from annual biofuel quotas...Click for Full Article

July 8, 2019 - President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency took a step toward draining the swamp by curbing the amount of corn ethanol being forced into our economy by the crony capitalist ethanol mandate. Big Corn is exploding with shock and dismay, as are corn-friendly lawmakers. But the White House shouldn’t heed the objections of these subsidized corporate moonshiners. Instead, he should lean on Congress to go further and reduce the ethanol mandate to zero...Click for Full Article

July 3, 2019 - Environmentalists are taking their case that corn-based ethanol is bad for the planet to the state that makes more of it than any other: Iowa. They are bird-dogging presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker at rallies and town halls, trying to dissuade them from making politically convenient pro-ethanol pledges to get votes in corn country. Their message: biofuels are driving environmental harms, from disappearing wetlands to algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico...Click for Full Article

June 28, 2019 - A Florida congressman is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to end the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate and cut down on ethanol. Last week, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., unveiled the “Eliminating the RFS and Its Destructive Outcomes Act” which would repeal the RFS mandate...Click for Full Article

June 19, 2019 - Nothing says “populism” like forcing consumers to use corn in their fuel in order to enrich a handful of corn producers in Iowa, all the while driving up the cost of food and fuel and putting blue-collar independent refinery workers out of jobs. Yet that is precisely what the ethanol lobby is enjoying, as it gets the administration to ramp up blending mandates on the fuel industry while relieving the ethanol industry of environmental regulations others must abide by. ... Click for Full Article

June 12, 2019 - The government shutdown that Trump says could last "a long time" without funding for a border wall may hurt farmers by delaying the administration's ability to steer through the approval for year-round sales of a 15 percent ethanol blend for gasoline before the summer begins....Click for Full Article

May 29, 2019- Ethanol supporters were certain conditions for them would improve following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt's resignation. As Oklahoma's Attorney General, Pruitt had sued the EPA over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). As EPA Administrator, Pruitt was generally viewed as hostile to the ethanol industry... Click for Full Article

May 17, 2019 - A federal appeals court granted oil refiners a victory Friday by denying a renewable fuel group's attempt to block the Environmental Protection Agency from exempting oil companies from blending ethanol in gasoline.... Click for Full Article

May 7, 2019 - We’ve spent plenty of time here talking about the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, particularly as it pertains to ethanol blending. But what’s less often discussed is that fact that many states and cities have been implementing their own standards. The majority of these involve mandates that a certain percentage of their energy be supplied through green, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar while weaning themselves off hydrocarbons.... Click for Full Article

April 5, 2019- Can Washington expedite America’s usage of renewable fuel through legislation that mandates the transition from the status quo? That is what Congress thought when it created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2005. It even doubled down by expanding and extending it two years later. But has their plan worked?... Click for Full Article

March 31, 2019-  Iowa is, once again, a battleground state. Right now, well before even a single ballot is cast in the presidential race, Iowa is on the front lines of an ongoing fight over fuel. Specifically, presidential candidates are being called upon to endorse or reject the outdated and damaging ethanol mandate... Click for Full Article 

March 26, 2019- The old adage “be careful what you wish for” sums up the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), better known as the federal mandate to mix ethanol into gasoline. Back in 2005, when the proposed biofuels regulation was just picking up steam, environmentalists thought they had a can't-miss idea... Click for Full Article

March 10, 2019- Was there ever any doubt among non-pie-in-the-sky dreamers that biofuels are, if not a bad idea, then at least one that was rushed into production before it was adequately studied? First, I must get this off my chest: My initial thoughts several years ago when ethanol was in the discussion stage were that marginal land would be put into corn production, greatly diminishing wildlife habitat... Click for Full Article  

February 28, 2019- Just seven years ago, as Hurricane Sandy pounded New Jersey and New York, dedicated workers at small East Coast refineries pushed through triple shifts in pelting storms. They produced much of the only available energy capable of keeping the region’s power on. Manhattan was on life support, but these heroes kept the pulse beating until help arrived. Few think of these refining assets as critical components of our nation’s emergency response capability, but that is what they are... Click for Full Article

February 12, 2019- Despite the claims by ethanol lobbyists, new data from corn country itself show that ethanol sales continue to surge while Andrew Wheeler’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides relief to the nation’s small and independent refineries that are struggling to get by... Click for Full Article

October 11, 2018- President Trump’s new rule on the year-round sale of E-15 ethanol-blended gasoline may be a huge gift to Midwestern corn producers (and Iowa politicians), but it doesn’t stand to work out that well for jobs in another decisive election state... Click for Full Article

January 22, 2019-  President Trump didn't forget that he promised Iowa's corn growers he be there for them if they helped send him to Washington. He's told the Environmental Protection Agency to start the process of permitting the year-round sale of E15, a gasoline blend that's 15 percent ethanol. This move is not only a massive handout to special-interest groups, but it also imposes serious costs on the average American family. All the while, it provides virtually zero environmental benefit... Click for Full Article 

January 14, 2019- US President Donald Trump said Monday he remains committed to approving year-round E15 sales, but he did not acknowledge that the window for making the regulatory change in time for the 2019 summer driving season is shrinking as the partial government shutdown drags on. The ethanol industry is closely watching whether the prolonged shutdown causes the Environmental Protection Agency to miss its target for approving year-round E15, or gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, before the summer driving season starts in June... Click for Full Article 

January 8, 2019- The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires refiners purchase biofuels such as ethanol and blend it into gas and diesel fuel. Congress can let the RFS sunset after 2022 and stop the EPA from ratcheting up blending targets through a process critics say is biased and politically, not scientifically, decided. “As RFS statutory targets diverge from marketplace realities, each year’s obligations are actually set by Environmental Protection Agency officials in a setting rife with interest-group lobbying,” the CEI report says. “Lawmakers should strive to restore predictability and choice to U.S. motor fuel markets... Click for Full Article 

Will U.S. Remain A Net Oil Exporter?

Investor's Business Daily

December 24, 2018- Thanks in part to the Trump administration's energy revolution, America recently became a net exporter of oil for the first time in approximately 75 years. The country reversed this negative trend of dependency on OPEC and others in a very big way, exporting 3 million more barrels of oil than combined imports... Click for Full Story

December 12, 2018- Why is Andrew Wheeler’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continuing to ignore science and intervene in the economy, rigging the marketplace to put the interests of the ethanol lobby before the needs of the American people? Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to protect the environment, but studies – even ones from the EPA - suggest it’s made things worse, reducing air quality by increasing atmospheric pollutants... Click for Full Article

November 20, 2018- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose new targets for the final three years of the nation’s renewable fuel program in January, replacing ambitious decade-old goals set by Congress with volumes closer to the industry’s current output, two people familiar with the matter said... Click for Full Article

October 31, 2018- The list of losers from President Donald Trump's trade war is long and likely only to grow. Consumers of washers and dryers, metal-consuming industries and their customers, and American industries caught in the crossfire from retaliatory tariffs have all been hit hard... Click for Full Article

October 14, 2018- FOR MORE THAN a decade, the United States has pursued the foolhardy energy policy known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. Thanks to legislation passed by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Republican president, George W. Bush, in 2007, the RFS illustrates the sad-but-true principle of Washington life that bipartisanship is no guarantee of wisdom... Click for Full Article 

October 10, 2018- Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today again urged President Trump to protect Pennsylvania refinery workers by reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in the wake of the president directing the Environmental Protection Agency to benefit ethanol producers in other states... Click for Full Article

September 18, 2018- Politicians in Washington are being held hostage by ethanol special interests and union workers at our nation’s refineries are paying the price. If this situation sounds a lot like Washington-as-usual, that’s because it is. As local union leaders, it’s our responsibility to press the Trump Administration to find a win-win solution that maintains domestic refining jobs and ensures a fair Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)… Click for Full Article  

September 15, 2018- U.S. Sen Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to visit a Delaware Valley refinery to get a better understanding of the impact the Renewable Fuel Standard is having on local jobs... Click for Full Article 

Irwin: Ethanol Demand Unharmed by SREs

DTN The Progressive Farmer

September 14, 2018- Ethanol demand has suffered little due to EPA's recent approvals of small-refinery waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a new analysis from a University of Illinois economics professor finds... Click for Full Article 

September 12, 2018- Archer Daniels Midland Co has sold unusually high volumes of ethanol into the Chicago market since late last year as export markets dried up, driving down prices in the U.S. Midwest and angering the company’s rivals, according to traders and regulatory data... Click for Full Article 

September 11, 2018- Once again, biofuel lobbyists are crying “ethanol demand destruction,” and once again, their claims are false.

The biofuel lobbyists allege that the percentage of ethanol blended in the fuel supply, called the “blend rate,” has diminished due to retroactive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers for small refiners granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and falling costs for the program’s compliance credits. Government agencies, biofuel industry executives, experts, and independent industry analysts, however, all agree that domestic biofuel use is actually increasing.... Click for Full Article

August 10, 2018- As a former senator from an agricultural state and a former U.S. Energy secretary, I want to see both American agriculture and our independent refineries succeed. Unfortunately, the current structure of the federal biofuel mandate — called the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS — fails to achieve these goals... Click for Full Article 

August 17, 2018- Many have been criticizing ethanol ever since the corn-alcohol distillate was proposed as an anti-knock additive to replace lead in gasoline. In the mid-2000s, faced with the prospect of diminishing oil production and higher energy prices, the U.S. Congress turned to ethanol as an alternative fuel that could supplement and (supporters claimed) eventually even supplant gasoline in the our fuel supply, along with biodiesel from corn and soybean oil….Read the Full Article

August 13, 2018- In 2005, when Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it was in expectation that the nation's supply of gasoline would soon be supplemented by something other than ethanol made from corn. Some of the best minds in science and engineering were saying with considerable confidence that the move from the research phase to commercially significant levels of production was just around the corner... Click for Full Article 

August 3, 2018- After Scott Pruitt resigned as EPA Administrator, the cheers from K street could be heard around the country. The lobbyist camp led the fight against Pruitt because since coming into the position, Pruitt set his sights on one of the biggest sacred cows in D.C., the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Just because he is gone, that doesn’t mean the fight over the RFS should end. The RFS was created in 2005 as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The RFS mandates a certain amount of renewable fuel is blended with gasoline. The renewable fuel is mostly corn ethanol… Read the Full Article 

July 5, 2018- The Fueling American Jobs Coalition, which supports the oil refiners, said in a statement Thursday that the RFS had nothing to do with Pruitt’s departure and reiterated that the EPA is following the law in issuing waivers. It also said that agriculture hasn’t been negatively impacted under the current administration. For both fans and foes of the mandate, Wheeler will be seen as a fresh face. He doesn’t have the baggage Pruitt did from more than a year of struggling with ethanol backers and the oil-refining industry over the policy. But fundamentally, he’s in the same difficult position as Pruitt: forced to administer a program that amounts to a zero-sum contest over gasoline market share... Click for Full Article

July 2, 2018- The ethanol lobby and corn farmers are teaming up to keep the government mandated gravy train flowing into their bank accounts. After a deal was reached between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), several Senators, and oil refiners regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the deal suddenly collapsed when it got to the White House. The deal made sense for everyone involved, so the question must be asked, what happened and why?... Click for Full Article 

June 27, 2018- The corn lobby has falsely claimed recently that waivers granted by the EPA to small refiners—relieving them from the onerous costs of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—have destroyed demand for ethanol.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Demand for U.S. ethanol remains strong. In fact, it would even remain strong without the RFS, given that ethanol is an affordable octane booster... Click for Full Article 

June 27, 2018- The Fueling American Jobs Coalition (FAJC), meanwhile, said EPA adhered to precedent while making progress on pushing forward much-needed Renewable Identification Number market reforms. “As the EPA accurately assessed, blending volumes have shown no evidence of backtracking to date despite the unsupported claims of ethanol activists,” the group said. It also expressed appreciation for what it saw as EPA’s acknowledgement that appropriate action on small refiner exemptions (SRE) is a statutory obligation under the Clean Air Act... Click for Full Article

June 14, 2018- The attack ad comes after Pruitt proposed modifications to the renewable fuel standard, a rule that requires oil refineries to use a certain amount of biofuels. The debate over the renewable fuel standard has beset the Trump administration. Groups at odds over the 2005 mandate are two of the president’s biggest bases of support: oil producers in Pennsylvania and corn growers in Iowa. The rule is opposed by oil refineries that argue it’s killing their business. Corn farmers, however, support the mandate because it boosts demand for their product… Click For Full Article 

June 14, 2018- I am a less government person.  I am a free market person.  The less government – the freer the market – the better. I was born and raised in the DC area.  The federal government’s incalculably massive inanity – has been infused and imbued in my psyche since birth.  I understand the very many nuances of its $4-trillion-per-year stupidity – inherently, instinctively. DC is antithetical to the free market.  And a government that spends 20% of our $20 trillion – ONE-FIFTH of every penny every man, man and child creates – is the antithesis of less government… Click for Full Article 

June 13, 2018- Whatever differences they may have with him aside, libertarians and free-market conservatives should be pleased with President Donald J. Trump’s support for reforming or repealing federal dictates that help foreign businesses and harm US workers. An example of this is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS mandates that refineries create a set number of renewable fuel gallons each year. Although only the largest refineries are capable of blending ethanol into fuel themselves, all refiners are required to take part… Click for Full Article

June 6, 2018- Oil refineries from the Gulf Coast and across the country could be in for a windfall under reforms to the federal ethanol mandate expected to be announced by the White House as early as Tuesday. After months of internal debate and negotiations with oil and corn state politicians like Sen. Ted, Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, administration officials are preparing to move ahead, sources close to the talks said... Click For Full Article 

June 7, 2018- A day after a tentative agreement to overhaul U.S. biofuel policy appeared to collapse amid farm-state concerns, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt met with the lead senator pushing for the changes: Ted Cruz. Pruitt had dinner with Cruz, a Texas Republican, at a Washington steakhouse blocks from the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night. Pruitt declined to comment on the meeting as he left the restaurant, but Cruz said the dinner included discussion about the Renewable Fuel Standard and had been planned well before Monday’s reports that a White House-brokered accord was unraveling. Cruz stressed that a deal to overhaul the biofuel policy could be revived… Click For Full Article 

June 6, 2018- Two corn state senators are ramping up attacks against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, criticizing Pruitt’s stance on ethanol and his ethics scandals. GOP Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, both from Iowa, directly and indirectly criticized Pruitt Tuesday in tweets, and Ernst slammed the EPA administrator in a speech at an energy conference in Washington, D.C. “I am hopeful that the president will just recognize that Mr. Pruitt is breaking our president’s promises to farmers and at some point he will say, ‘It’s time for you to go,'” Ernst said, according to S&P Global Platts. “But that’s up to the president to make that call. I will remain highly critical of Administrator Pruitt.”…Click For Full Article

June 6, 2018- U.S. President Donald Trump, in yielding to pressure from farming states and agreeing to suspend changes to U.S. biofuel policy is now being criticized by another important constituency, the main union for oil refinery workers. The United Steelworkers, the largest industrial union in North America representing refinery workers, said the decision leaves in place a costly regulation that puts at risk thousands of blue collar jobs of the type Trump has promised to preserve. “Inaction by the Trump administration now threatens the livelihood of thousands of East Coast refinery workers and tens of thousands of related jobs throughout the Northeast,” the union said in a statement on Wednesday… Click For Full Article 

May 25, 2018- The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been a disaster since its well-intentioned beginnings more than 12 years ago. It aimed to lower greenhouse gas emissions, a respectable undertaking, and to produce more domestic fuel. It didn’t take long, however, to watch this experiment plummet to failure – harming businesses, consumers and the environment, all while costing taxpayers millions of unnecessary dollars... Click For Full Article 

May 18, 2018- The flood of ethanol waivers being handed out to small oil refineries by the Trump administration is winning no fans in the ethanol sector, who argue they're killing demand for the corn-based biofuel. But the refining sector shot back this week, arguing the market is holding steady even as dozens of refineries have been exempted from requirements that they blend ethanol or buy expensive renewable fuel credits. They cited federal data showing that over the first four months of the year conventional ethanol blending was up 0.3 percent from last year... Click For Full Article 

May 9, 2019- Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) issued the following statement regarding a deal brokered by President Donald J. Trump that addresses the ever-changing pricing of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):... Click for Full Statement 

May 7, 2018- Currently, we have no reason to change our fundamental outlook for 2018, a 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol production, 14.4 billion gallons to 14.5 billion gallons of domestic lending and 1.6 billion gallons to 1.8 billion gallons of exports. We saw record exports totaling 512 million gallons in the first quarter, there were a number of new players buying U.S. ethanol including Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. Brazil first quarter totaled nearly 240 million gallons. Despite the recent increase in tariffs in some markets, cheap octane continues to find a home around the world, a few things need to happen to meet and exceed the high end of the export range, such as Japan implementation, a strong Brazil import program over the last half of the year and resolution of the China trade issues around agricultural commodities and ethanol… Click for Full Article 

April 30, 2018- In the era of “fake news” and dwindling public trust in professional journalists, supposedly “mainstream” outlets like Reuters ought to either actually play it straight or just admit their bias. Today, Reuters chose instead to fan the fake news-flames and ran this scintillating headline: “Exclusive: U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn's oil refinery – sources.”... Click For Full Article 

April 28, 2018- U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta this week vowed to continue fighting for steel and refinery workers against government over-regulation. Barletta and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently joined refinery workers at a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol to address growing concerns about the ever-changing pricing of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RINs are used to determine compliance with RFS... Click for Full Article

April 26, 2018- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) today participated in a press conference with workers from Monroe Energy, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and PBF Energy to discuss their efforts to find a win-win solution for both corn farmers and refinery workers, who face skyrocketing RINs prices under the renewable fuel standard (RFS)... Click For Full Article 

April 27, 2018- Oil refineries are struggling to stay in business due to the EPA's tradable bio-fuel credit program. The credits have become a multi-billion dollar trading market, worsening fears smaller businesses will lose out to more established refiners... Click to View Full Video

April 26, 2018-  Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and House lawmakers upped the pressure on President Trump to make a decision soon on a way to save oil refineries from the costs of meeting the Environmental Protection Agency's ethanol mandate. “The president can solve this with the stroke of a pen,” the Texas Republican said Thursday afternoon, joined by refinery workers and the steelworkers union. “It is the EPA that can do it,” but Trump must direct it to do so, he added... Click For Full Article

April 26, 2018-  The key to compromise between oil producers and corn growers is a reform of Renewable Identification Numbers, Ted Cruz argued Thursday. Corn farmers and refinery workers have waged an increasingly bitter battle over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a 2005 mandate requiring transportation fuel to contain a certain level of biofuels — typically corn-based ethanol... Click For Full Article 

March 26, 2018- Andre Bernard made a killing selling a mirage. As oil refineries struggled to comply with federal mandates for blending renewable fuels into the nation's gasoline and diesel supply, Bernard offered a solution: millions of dollars' worth of biofuel credits they could buy to help meet their obligation... Click for Full Article 

March 20, 2018- Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with other federal agencies, to take steps to stabilize price volatility in the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market... Click for Full Article 

March 19, 2018- In former Sen. Rick Santorum’s recent piece, “Stop the attacks on farmers, homegrown energy,” he claims the Renewable Fuel Standard is an economic saving grace. The Senator says that farmer income is projected to fall this year to the lowest level recorded since 2006, but he ignores the fact that the RFS — which has also been operating for the past 12 years — is a contributor to this decline... Click for Full Article 

March 13, 2018- Two members of the United States Senate are obstructing the Trump Administration’s bipartisan effort to provide relief to middle class families and the nation’s small refiners... Click for Full Article 

You RIN Some, You Lose Some

Wall Street Journal

March 12, 2018- Donald Trump is willing to risk a trade war to protect steelworkers, so you’d think he’d also stand up to Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst and Deb Fischer... Click for Full Article 

March 11, 2018- The political tide may be turning against the corn ethanol mandate. The Renewable Fuel Standard, which forces oil refiners to mix corn-based fuel into gasoline, is one of history’s great policy boondoggles... Click for Full Article

March 8, 2018- As the debate over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard continues, the nation’s refinery and biofuel facility employees are getting involved in the conversation... Click for Full Article 

March 2, 2018- Imagine if I grow a product in my backyard and lobby enough federal officials to force all energy suppliers to buy my product and mix it in with theirs to sell to consumers... Click for Full Article 

March 1, 2018- Pressure stemming from one Republican senator's hold on a senior White House nomination, as well as the slow destruction of the Northeast's manufacturing sector, has forced the Trump administration to consider amending parts of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)... Click for Full Article 

Let Ethanol Fend for Itself

Real Clear Energy

February 28, 2018- The East Coast’s largest and oldest oil refinery is declaring bankruptcy. In its January 22 filing, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) — whose facilities can process 335,000 barrels of oil per day — cited the economic burden of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as a primary contributor to its fiscal woes. Regardless of the merits of PES’s claims, the RFS is an economic and environmental burden on the United States and ought to be repealed... Click for Full Article 

February 27, 2018-  Key senators left a White House meeting Tuesday with no concrete resolution on the future of federal ethanol policy, but critics of the Renewable Fuel Standard suggested that they are slowly pulling President Trump to a deal that will benefit the oil industry... Click for Full Article 

Feburary 27, 2018- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement regarding today's meeting with President Trump... Click for Full Article 

February 27, 2018- Last month, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum published an op-ed in which he defended the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. Santorum claimed that the RFS is essential to maintaining America’s global biofuels leadership and promoting our energy independence... Click for Full Article 

February 27, 2018- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement after the meeting at the White House regarding the broken RINs system... Click for Full Article

Cruz blasts RFS at Philly refinery

Politico Agriculture Whiteboard

February 22, 2018- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took his argument for rewriting the Renewable Fuel Standard to the workers of a Philadelphia refinery that has blamed the biofuel fuel program for its bankruptcy. At a rally-like atmosphere at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, Cruz delved into the complexities of the RFS, arguing the administration needed to cap prices on biofuels credits, called Renewable Identification Numbers, in order to save the refinery and others nationwide... Click for Full Article

February 21, 2018- Sen. Ted Cruz wants refiners and corn farmers to stand together to overhaul the nation's ethanol mandate by pitting them against Wall Street speculators who he said are getting rich off the program that is killing jobs... Click for Full Story

February 21, 2018- Clad in orange and blue coveralls, hundreds of unionized refinery workers on Wednesday erupted in applause for Senator Ted Cruz, the conservative Congressman from Texas who just two years ago had run for president on policies that had alarmed organized labor... Click for Full Article

Feburary 21, 2018- Bankrupt U.S. refinery Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC has friends in Washington, and wants you to know it... Click for Full Article

February 21, 2018- Sen. Ted Cruz, in a speech to refinery workers here Wednesday, said federal ethanol rules were making "Wall Street speculators and giant integrated companies" a "windfall"  while small refineries struggle... Click for Full Article

February 21, 2018- Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Wednesday urged President Trump to overhaul the federal ethanol mandate during a rally with refinery workers at Philadelphia Energy Solutions, which has cited the cost of complying with the biofuel standard as the major cause of its recent bankruptcy filing... Click for Full Article

February 18, 2018- The largest refinery on the East Coast, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), recently announced that it would declare bankruptcy. This should be seen by Pennsylvanians and other Americans as most unwelcome news, though it was no surprise to those who keep watch on the health of America’s refining industry... Click for Full Article

February 21, 2018- Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump’s administration to push for an overhaul of the nation’s biofuels policy, during a rally at a Pennsylvania oil refinery that blames its bankruptcy on the controversial regulation... Click for Full Story

 
 

February 15, 2018- A Pennsylvania refinery's bankruptcy filing last month has renewed the fight over the Renewable Fuels Standard, the 13-year-old law that has been a boon to the farm economy... Click for Full Article

February 15, 2018- Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt thinks U.S. refiners are being forced to blend too much ethanol into their gasoline. His recent comments to that effect sent biofuel advocates into a frenzy. But it’s the public who should be angry... Click for Full Article 

February 15, 2018- Refinery workers are used to working hard on a daily basis. But lately, they’ve been working hard just to survive. Thanks to the Renewable Fuel System’s (RFS) compliance burdens, many independent refineries today find themselves at risk — and President Trump can step in to protect them... Click for Full Article

PRESSURE BUILDS FOR RFS REFORM

Brownfield Ag News For America

February 14, 2018- Past Congressional attempts to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard have failed, but a biofuels lobbyist says the pressure is building to make some changes... Click for Full Article

February 13, 2018- The battle between King Corn and Big Oil is heating up again as the two sides fight over whether the ethanol mandate popular in the farm economy is to blame for the bankruptcy of the East Coast’s largest oil refinery... Click for Full Article

February 13, 2018- The battle between U.S. farm interests and oil-refining advocates such as Carl Icahn is heating up again as the two sides fight over whether the ethanol mandate is to blame for the bankruptcy of the U.S. East Coast’s largest refinery... Click for Full Article

January 31, 2018- If the Trump administration does not soon repeal or make adjustments to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), America will become even more dependent on foreign sources of energy as the country’s manufacturing jobs continue to decline... Click for Full Article

February 13, 2018- Oil refinery Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) has a serious beef with the George W. Bush-era biofuel mandate that it says has forced the company into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, other companies face a similar plight absent major regulatory changes. It’s been more than a decade now since Congress stipulated that ethanol be blended with gasoline before hitting the market... Click for Full Article

February 12, 2018- An East Coast refiner that blamed $830 million in costs for biofuels credits in the Renewable Fuel Standard, as a reason for filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is firing back at critics who pointed to reasons other than the RFS for the company's actions... Click for Full Article

February 12, 2018- As ethanol leaders meet here in the heart of his home turf, Sen. Ted Cruz has emerged as Washington’s leading critic of the industry, holding up federal nominees over his opposition to the national biofuels mandate, lambasting the sector in fiery Senate floor speeches, and leading a coalition of oil-friendly lawmakers to the Oval Office in hopes of weakening the Renewable Fuel Standard... Click for Full Story

February 12, 2018- “Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the United Steelworkers are appalled that the Renewable Fuels Association has launched a dishonest campaign, fabricating “facts” about PES’s business and mocking the livelihoods of thousands of manufacturing workers in refineries across America... Click for Full Article

February 11, 2018- This year begins the ninth year of cellulosic ethanol mandates in the U.S. Today I want to give a brief review of cellulosic ethanol, review the original targets, and examine the current status of the industry... Click for Full Article

February 9, 2018- Nothing like the imminent death of 1,100 jobs to focus the mind. The administration is ready to reform the EPA’s renewable fuel program following the bankruptcy of Philadelphia Energy Solutions... Click for Full Article


 

February 7, 2018- Reserving the right to object. I thank my friend from Iowa for his continued efforts both on behalf of Mr. Northey and working to find a commonsense solution to the issue that has thus far delayed Mr. Northey's confirmation... Click for Full Article

February 1, 2018- The bankruptcy of Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, the biggest refiner on the U.S. East Coast, has invigorated efforts to overhaul a 13-year-old federal program promoting biofuels that has drawn bitter criticism from the oil industry... Click for Full Article 

January 31, 2018- Federal fuel blending requirements pose a severe economic harm to Delaware and should be reduced, the state's governor said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)... Click for Full Article 

A BIOFUELS BANKRUPTCY

Wall Street Journal

January 23, 2018- The East Coast’s biggest refinery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, and Philadelphia Energy Solutions puts the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies... Click for Full Article

January 30, 2018- The Mariner East 2 pipeline is not the only remnant from the one-time Delco industrial colossus making news these days. A few years back, when Sunoco decided to get out of the refinery business, it was a dagger in the heart of the region’s economy... Click for Full Article

January 26, 2018- The recent bankruptcy filing by the largest refiner east of the Mississippi River has brought the abominable Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) back into the headlines. The refinery in question, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), says it was forced to take the bankruptcy route due to the requirements of RFS, which mandates that refiners either blend biofuels in with their gasoline or purchase “credits” called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) when the can’t do their own blending... Click for Full Story

January 26, 2018- Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), an ally of President Trump and candidate for Senate, urged U.S. EPA to scale back a biofuel mandate that oil refiner Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc. blames for its bankruptcy... Click for Full Article

January 26, 2018- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, That's how it was for working Americans this week... Click for Full Article 

An Entirely Predictable Bankruptcy

Institute For Energy Research

January 23, 2018- On Monday, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) announced it is filing for bankruptcy. PES operates the largest oil-refining complex on the east coast, with its two refineries capable of processing 335,000 barrels of oil per day. In filing for bankruptcy, PES citied its inability to pay for the 2018 cost of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates ever increasing levels of biofuel be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply regardless of demand or even whether the biofuels actually exist... Click for Full Article

December 17, 2017 - One of the primary objectives of the RFS is to promote the use of renewable fuels to achieve greater energy security and independence. Logically, this means that the RFS should promote domestic biofuel production. Unfortunately, the current construct of the RFS, which hinges on acquiring ‘credits’ to demonstrate compliance with the program, has done little to promote the expansion of our biofuel infrastructure. Instead, the RFS has managed to create a class of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ determined almost entirely by who owns facilities that blend renewables into fuel, which is how those credits are earned. Independent refiners like those in the mountain west who do not own blending facilities fall squarely into the ‘have not’ column. Fortunately, there are ways to fix the RFS that expand biofuel production without needlessly harming our nation’s independent refineries...Click for Full Article

February 12, 2018- Statement from American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) General Counsel Rich Moskowitz, upon filing a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce mandated volumes of non-existent cellulosic biofuels... Click for Full Article

December 16, 2017 - The ethanol lobby is talking tough and issuing ultimatums to the Trump White House. Its message, in brief, is “Don’t mess with our federal mandate.”

If the White House wants credibility in its free-enterprise talk and promises to drain the swamp, it should tell the ethanol lobby to get lost.

The fight began because refiners are finding it increasingly unaffordable to comply with the federal ethanol mandate, and if it continues it might kill independent oil companies. The office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, came to the White House on Wednesday and sought to dictate terms, telling the executive it could provide whatever relief it chose to those independent refiners, but it mustn't touch the mandate, officially called the Renewable Fuel Standard...Click for Full Article

December 15, 2017 -  U.S. Senator Ted Cruz wants to place a cap of 10 cents each on renewable fuel credits - a fraction of their current value - to help U.S. refiners cope with the nation’s biofuels policy, according to a document viewed by Reuters on Thursday. 

The proposal marks the latest step in talks being mediated by the White House between oil industry backers and rivals in the ethanol industry over the Renewable Fuels Standard. Refiners claim complying with the law, known a the RFS, costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year and could put them out of business...Click for Full Article 

December 7, 2017 - President Trump and multiple Cabinet-level officials will meet with a group of GOP senators who say that the federal biofuels blending mandate called the Renewable Fuel Standard is harming refiners in their states. Trump's Environmental Protection Agency recently declined to soften the RFS.

Lawmakers from Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and elsewhere say a key concern is the cost of credits, called renewable identification numbers, that the petroleum industry uses to help comply with the RFS.

The midday meeting signals how the decade-old RFS has created fierce, politically fraught policy battles between lawmakers allied with the refining industry and a separate group carrying the mantle of midwestern farming and biofuels interests...Click for Full Article

December 4, 2017 - Cruz may succeed in pushing a middle of the road solution, amending the RFS so that it works for everyone, including the ethanol industry. The law’s significant grant of authority to the executive branch provides opportunity for a compromise that can, at least for a while, relieve some of the pressure. Right now, RINs — the credits used to ensure compliance with the rule — are not provided for exported fuel. A regulatory change to allow exported fuel to count for RFS compliance would ease the pressure on refiners and the domestic fuel supply while not reducing the benefit to ethanol producers. And the change is environmentally neutral, since air in the U.S. is no more or less important than air anywhere else...Click for Full Story

December 4, 2017 - Facing the heavy financial burdens of a severely manipulated market, independent refiners, along with union workers and mom-and-pop gas stations, have asked the Trump administration to change the point of obligation for reporting RINs back to the EPA. Monroe Energy, an independent refiner outside Philadelphia, spends $500,000 a day on RINs. Philadelphia Energy Solutions, another independent northeast refiner, had to seek debt relief after the cost of RINs increased 3,000 percent.

Trump administration officials didn’t just deny the request to shift the reporting obligation from refiners to companies and facilities that blend renewable fuels into gasoline. They took another step in the wrong direction by indicating they might even raise the required levels of ethanol blending...Click for Full Article

December 1, 2017 - U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with representatives of the oil refining industry and their legislative backers to discuss the nation's biofuels program, according to two sources briefed on the matter. 

The White House meeting could set the stage for negotiations over possible legislation to overhaul the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard - a 2005 law that requires refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like ethanol into the nation's gasoline each year, the sources said, asking not to be named. 

A number of independent refiners, like Valero Energy Corp, CVR Energy and PBF Energy have vocally opposed the regulation's requirement that refiners blend the biofuels, or purchase credits from rivals that do - a rule they say costs them hundreds of millions of dollars each year...Click for Full Article 

November 29, 2017 - President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will have an opportunity in coming weeks to increase manufacturing jobs and bolster U.S. exports by simply cutting back on the red tape of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

To satisfy Washington bureaucrats, refineries and distributors must either produce the mix of fuel containing ethanol on their own; purchase credits – called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from someone who can blend it; or import renewables from overseas that qualify for RINs credits.

For the many who cannot afford to mix themselves, purchasing the RINs – "Big Brother Compliance Certificate" of sorts from another company – suffices. These smaller refineries are not buying a tangible product; rather, just the ability to comply with the RFS on their regulatory forms...Click for Full Article

November 19, 2017 -The high cost of RINs "has become very urgent, threatening some refiners' survival," according to an Oct. 18 letter to President Donald Trump from four Refinery CEOs. Two of those companies- Valero Energy Corp. and HollyFrontier Corp. - have Oklahoma refineries.

A recent letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt from nine oil-state senators, including Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, says that 75,000 to 150,000 U.S. refinery jobs are at risk...Click for Full Article

November 17, 2017 - A bipartisan coalition is forcing Washington to fix the way EPA administers its biofuel program, a counterproductive bureaucratic creation that's costing jobs and actually holding back the wider use of ethanol.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, asking her to agree to a deal between oil refiners and the ethanol industry over the EPA's renewable fuel mandate.

That comes after Cruz and eight other Republican senators asked President Trump for a meeting to discuss "a mutually agreeable solution that will also save refining jobs and help unleash an American energy renaissance."...Click for Full Article

November 14, 2017 - Although President Trump has made significant progress with his economic growth agenda, seemingly unilateral assurance by Environmental Protection Agecny Administrator Edward S. Pruitt is threatening to put his pro-jobs plan in jeopardy. 

After receiving backlash from midwestern lawmakers, Pruitt sent a letter to them on October 8th stating that the EPA would hold off on reducing the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates and perhaps even increase the blending requirements...Click for Full Article

November 13, 2017 - Eight years after a buyer reopened the Delaware City refinery, there are concerns that jobs would be in jeopardy again. This time, the issue is a complicated federal renewable fuels standard.

Hundreds of refinery employees from several states joined industry leaders and elected officials Monday outside the refinery for a rally to highlight their concerns about the Renewable Fuel Standard. The requirement is years old and mandates that refineries demonstrate that they are blending renewable fuels into the gasoline supply. If they can't, they are required to make payments that critics say subsidize large, multinational oil companies...Click for Full Article

November 13, 2017 - Area oil refineries, union leaders, and Delaware Gov. John Carney are all joining forces to take on President Donald Trump. 

The strange bedfellows gathered outside the Delaware City. Refining Co. on Monday to pressure the Trump administration into tweaking a federal renewable fuel program they say is threatening hundreds of refining jobs throughout the region. 

"The EPA has the ability to make changes and their lack of willingness to do so is really the crux of the problem," said Matt Lucey, president of refinery owner PBF energy. "Not only is the swamp not drained, but you have very powerful lobbyists who are hikacking the administration."...Click for Full Article

November 13, 2017 - Workers and managers from three Philadelphia area refineries on Monday urged fedreal regulators to reform a renewable fuels program that is costing the companies millions of dollars and threatening jobs. 

Several hundred workers and contractors rallied at Delaware City Refinery to protest the high cost of so-called RINs - credits that refineries like the Delaware facility are required to buy under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a 2005 regulation designed to boost the use of biofuels, primarily ethanol, instead of petroleum...Click for Full Article

November 13, 2017 - The EPA caved to (Corn Belt politicians) demands and committed to reversing proposed cuts to biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard. This would set the 2018 standard at or above the current levels.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who won the Iowa caucus while blasting the mandate, is fighting back...Cruz and other allies in the Senate wrote their concerns to the White House, stating that the concessions made to the Corn Belt senators would result in refinery job losses and high costs. They requested the meeting be held withing three weeks

Cruz is right. Other voices need to be heard. The Renewable Fuel Standard benefits a select few at the expense of many, including many industries in the Midwest and the agricultural community...Click for Full Article 

November 7, 2017 - A bipartisan, group of lawmakers highlighted concerns regarding possible market manipulation in the compliance system used for the Environmental Protection Agency's RIN program. The Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market is used as a way to comply with the addition of ethanol to gasoline. Corn state lawmakers have pressed for the continued used of ethanol.

Delaware's congressional delegation joined colleagues in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in asking the Federal Trade Comission to investigate and end any possible RIN market manipulation. Delaware is the home of the PBF Delaware City Refinery. PBF has long complained about the RUN market and its effect on profit margin...Click for Full Article

Renewable Fuel Regulation Doesn't Put 'America First'

Washington Examiner

October 14, 2017 - The Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires a certain percentage of ethanol and biofuel diesel be mixed into the nation's fuel supply, was sold to the public largely on the basis of the mandated fuels being renewable. 

The idea was to reduce dependence on foreign sources of fuel and to promote homegrown jobs and industry. But what happens to that argument when the renewable fuel is imported from foreign countries? As crazy as it sounds, that's the situation - an unintended consequence...Click for Full Article 

November 3, 2017 - Large global oil giants who have the equipment to blend fuel as well as refine it can easily comply with the renewable fuel standard. But small independent refiners in places like Pennsylvania and Texas lack blending facilities and are getting fleeced. They are forced to buy ethanol "credits," chits whose price has soared as the government mandates the use of more ethanol than the market can absorb...Click for Full Article

Renewable Fuel Standard Follies

The American Spectator

November 1, 2017 - Refiners and distributors today are now buying foreign renewables to meet the RFS mandates, which is increasing dependence on foreign energy sources.

That effect of the RFS can be repaired by granting RINs to renewable energy producers who sell their production overseas, and not just in the U.S. domestic market. That would restore the original purpose of the RFS in reducing foreign energy dependence, which today the RFS itself is ironically increasing.

It would also expand markets for U.S. renewables, empowering them to be sold internationally. The resulting increased demand would shore up prices for farmers growing crops for ethanol, and the increased ethanol production for foreign markets would increase employment for that production...Click for Full Article

King of the Swamp

US News & World Report

October 31, 2017 - Big Ethanol's political triumph was a win for the Washington political machine, lobbyists and special interests. But hardworking American families are stuck with a failed energy policy that increases fuel costs, hurts our environment and does absolutely nothing to advance the Trump administration's goal of enhancing America's global energy dominance. 

Thankfully, more elected officials, leaders in Washington and voters across the political spectrum are saying enough is enough to these handouts. That's exactly why Big Ethanol is ramping up its lobbying efforts and seeking to leverage political influence to preserve its artificial government guaranteed market...Click for Full Article 

October 30, 2017 - Beginning today: A group led by mid-sized oil refiners is running ads on Fox and Friends - a shows that the President is known to watch - that knock the administration for backing off changes to the national biofuels mandate called the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

Why it matters: The bluntly worded, weeklong Fox ad campaign aimed right at Trump's eyeball signals the intensity of the fight over the RFS, a topic that puts the biofuels industry and midwestern lawmakers against he oil industry and its Capitol Hill allies...Click for Full Article

Trump Caves on Ethanol

Wall Street Journal

October 22, 2017 - The bipartisan pull of corporate welfare - also known as the swamp - is powerful. Last week it swallowed up no less than Donald Trump and his fearless Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt. They caved under pressure from the ethanol lobby and political extortion from Republican Senators Joni Ernst, Deb Fischer and Chuck Grassley...Click for Full Article

October 20, 2017 - The cost to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard falls disproportionately on the mid-sized refiners and mom-and-pop gas stations that are the backbone of our energy infrastructure," said Greg Balir, spokesman for the Fueling American Jobs Coalition. "If the administration follows he course set out in administrator Pruitt's letter, manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states - jobs President Trump promised to protect - will be at risk. We hope President Trump doesn't turn his back on American workers."...Click for Full Article

October 20, 2017 - Understanding that many companies may wish to vary thier own reliance on biofuels, which include products such as ethanol, the program also offers companies the ability to trade renewable energy credits (called a "RIN") in a secondary market. 

However, this policy faces many gaping holes that have ballooned in recent years, with a significant impact on the American worker. 

First and foremost is what kind of biofuels production and distribution counts towards the RFS quotas. At the moment, any kind of biofuel that is exported overseas does not count towards the RFS requirement...Click for Full Article 

EPA's Ethanol Stupidity

Washington Times

October 20, 2017 - To comply with the 15 billion gallon renewable floor, refiners and distributors commonly import renewables because they qualify for RINs credits. But importation confounds the purposes of the RFS. It makes the United States more, rather than less reliant onn foreign fuel sources. And, it diminishes demand for American agricultural products like corn staples for biofuels...Click for Full Article

Ethanol Exports are Key to US Energy Dominance

Quad City Times

October 10, 2017 - In a speech at the Department of Energy in June, Presient Donald Trump outlined an ambitious plan that not only called for American energy independence, but also energy dominance.

"Energy exports will create countless jobs for our people, and provide energy security to our friends, partners and allies all across the globe," said the president.

He was absolutely correct. And much like oil and liquefied natural gas, homegrown U.S. ethanol can and must continue to play a substaintial role in this growing industry...Click for Full Article

Philly Refiners Urge Trump to Protect Their Embattled Industry

Philadelphia Inquirer

October 9, 2017 - Several hundred refinery workers ralled Monday to urge President Trump to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard, saying the federal ethanol-blending rule is creating an unfair and onerous burden for the region's independent refiners. 

In a driving rainstorm that became a metaphor for the storm that embattled refiners face in Washington, a bi-partisan lineup of politicians, labor and business leaders called upon workers to pressure trump to reconfigure the market for ethanol fuel credits, which they say has been hijacked by big oil interests and "Wall Street sharpies."...Click for Full Article

October 9, 2017 - Oil refinery workers, executives and local politicians gathered near Philadelphia on Monday to urge the White House to revamp the nation's renewable fuels program, arguing the future of thier plants are at stake.

The speakers told a crowd of about 100 that the tradable credits at the center of the renewable fuel program have been exploited by banks and trading firms, threatening the viability of merchant refiners like Monroe Energy and PBF Energy...Click for Full Article 

Ethanol credits drive up the cost of doing business

Washington Examiner

July 10, 2017 - If you want an example of a regulation driving up the cost of doing business, look no further than the Environmental Protection Agency's ethanol mandate, which also creates uncertainty for a segment of the refinery industry. At issue is the rampant volatility of what are called Renewable Identification Numbers. Most merchant and small refiners have to buy these RINs to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard... Click for Full Article

Bring Competition Back to Gas Stations by Fixing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

Politic 365

June 22, 2017 - Minority communities across the United States have learned by experience to stay vigilant. It seems like there’s always something coming around the corner that poses a new threat to communities of color—sometimes from even the most unexpected sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program to cut carbon emissions from gasoline is one of those unlikely sources... Click for Full Article

Neufeld: Don't drink the potion on ethanol blending obligations

Casper Star Tribune

June 22, 2017 - A debate about the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, is affecting Wyoming refineries, independent gas stations and the jobs they support. The RFS law mandates injection of a national volume of ethanol into gasoline. Each year, EPA issues renewable fuel percentage standards that, when taken times each refiner’s petroleum fuel volumes, defines that refiner’s obligation — its share of the national renewable fuel volumes. The national volumes are achieved if every refiner meets its obligation... Click for Full Article

 

Elizabeth Warren Puts Her Ignorance Of Financial Markets On Display

Red State

June 20, 2017 - Government oversight officials revealed this week that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s mud-slinging campaign against victims of the national renewable fuel quota system was groundless, another example of the far-left ideologue’s penchant for stretching the truth.... Click for Full Article

To save jobs, EPA should reform fuel standard

Philly.com

June 9, 2017 - When government decides to intervene in the marketplace, it better get it right. If not, it can create chaos, unfairly picking winners and losers and causing real damage to legitimate businesses. For tens of thousands of refinery employees in the Philadelphia area, along with hundreds of local mom-and-pop gas stations, the Environmental Protection Agency got it wrong with its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)... Click for Full Article

EPA’s renewable fuel standard hiccups on fraud

Washington Examiner

June 9, 2017 - Something is rotten in the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory matrix governing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandated by Energy Policy Act of 2005. The RFS was designed to diminish petroleum imports and carbon dioxide emissions... Click for Full Article

OP-ED: To save jobs, EPA should reform fuel standard

Philadelphia Inquirer

June 9, 2017 - When government decides to intervene in the marketplace, it better get it right. If not, it can create chaos, unfairly picking winners and losers and causing real damage to legitimate businesses... Click for Full Article

Wal-Mart's 'Main Street' Cronyism Campaigns

Investor's Business Daily

June 6, 2017 - "Main Street" is Americana. Literally, it's the primary road in a town, but culturally it's much more than that. Main street is synonymous with mainstream, but it also evokes core American ideals like fairness — that the rules are the same for the "average Joe" as they are for wealthy corporations.... Click for Full Article

Delaware governor presses EPA on ethanol

Axios

June 2, 2017 - Delaware's Democratic governor is urging the Trump administration to make changes to a contentious ethanol mandate that a handful of refineries in the region are struggling to comply with... Click for Full Article

How Regulation of Electric Cars and Renewable Fuels Promotes Fraud

American Conservative

May 31, 2017 - Whatever the government touches, it always changes, often for the worse. Two examples are electric cars and renewable fuels. Because some states mandate that electric cars be built, regardless of the economic case for them, there is little incentive to make them affordable. And so, the government ends up subsidizing them. This serves almost no one’s interests except for those receiving the subsidies... Click for Full Article

How Crony-Capitalism Is Killing Mom & Pop Gas Stations And Making Big Ones Rich

Red State

May 30, 2017 - In 2010, Rodney Hailey’s neighbors grew suspicious. In the past year, he had amassed “a baby blue Rolls-Royce, a white Maserati, a black Bentley and two Ferraris,” according to a Washington Post report... Click for Full Article

A regulation that jeopardizes local refinery jobs

Delaware Online

May 26, 2017 - When I was hired at the Delaware City refinery 26 years ago, I thought I would have a long career with many opportunities. Then Valero decided to close the facility because the refinery was over-regulated and losing lots of money. I was devastated; my family at home and at work were crushed. As I watched my co-workers have trouble finding good jobs and some move away, our future was shaky and uncertain... Click for Full Article

DELAWARE TRADES WANT EPA TO CHANGE RFS OBLIGATION

Politico Morning Energy

May 25, 2017 - The Delware AFL-CIO and Delware Building Trades are asking EPA's Pruitt to change which companies bear the obligation of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter sent yesterday, the union argues that the current system, which requires refiners to purchase credits to prove compliance, "puts merchant refiners like the [PBF Energy's] Delaware City at risk." The union joins the United Steelworkers in asking for the change… Click for Full Article

USW Appears on CBS Radio in Fight to Save Refinery Jobs

United Steelworkers

May 16, 2017 As USW Local 4-898 member Preston Scarberry from PBF Energy’s Delaware City Refinery explains in this interview with Rich Zeoli on CBS radio in Philadelphia, jobs at multiple USW-represented oil refineries are in danger because of market manipulation of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that should be easy to repair, and our union has called on the agency to defend these jobs by moving the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) point of obligation to where renewable fuels are actually blended into the fuel stock… Click for Full Article

US refiners expect change for RINs

Argus Media

February 16, 2017 - US refiners critical of federal biofuel mandates expect the policy to change this year under the new administration… Click for Full Article

EPA should change biofuels program to help small fuel retailers: letter

Reuters

August 1, 2016 - U.S. regulators should alter a much-debated biofuels program that disadvantages small fuel retailers, said the chairman of a newly-formed ... Click for Full Article