Ethanol industry awaits confirmation of Trump SRE directive
The ethanol industry is awaiting confirmation that President Trump ordered the EPA to deny gap year ethanol blending waivers. Geoff Cooper with the Renewable Fuels Association says, “If that is in fact accurate, that would be fantastic news for the industry. We know how devastating those past exemptions have been for ethanol and biodiesel demand.”
Cooper tells Brownfield getting the small refiner exemption program under control has been their top regulatory priority for the past few years, and significantly limiting the number of EPA exemptions would restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Erik Huschitt with Badger State Ethanol in Wisconsin says if the gap year waivers are denied as reported, he’s not convinced EPA will follow through. “We celebrate the announcement from President Trump, and we have a great deal of anxiety to see if the EPA abides and see if they don’t try to find another way to skirt around what the intent of the law was.”
Huschitt is cautiously optimistic, saying there is still a Supreme Court ruling calling on EPA to add back ethanol gallons to Renewable Volume Obligations, which still hasn’t been done.
Media reports say President Trump directed his EPA to deny more than 60 gap year refinery exemption requests, but neither the EPA or the White House has confirmed that report as of Wednesday morning.