x
Breaking News
0

Trump open to biofuel policy reform, senators say after meeting

CommoditiesDec 07, 2017 06:08PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. U.S. President Trump speaks to reporters before departing the White House for New York in Washington

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is open to reforming the country's biofuels policy if it can be done in a way that protects jobs in both the refining and agriculture industries, senators said on Thursday after a meeting with Trump on the issue.

Nine lawmakers had requested the meeting to argue that the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, a law requiring refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into the fuel supply every year, was threatening to put refineries in their districts out of business.

The Trump administration had ruled in favor of Big Corn and against the refining industry in a series of decisions this year, with senators on both sides using parliamentary procedures like holds on administrative appointments to punish rivals.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the lawmaker delegation, said Trump was open to a "win-win" solution.

"The group as a whole agreed with the president to reconvene next week and to expand the group and work together to find a (solution) that is a win for blue-collar workers, a win for jobs, but also a win for farmers at the same time,” he told Fox News after the meeting.

Republican Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and James Lankford of Oklahoma also said Trump expressed a desire to help refiners in a way that protected the interests of farmers, but that more discussions were needed.

"It was just a recognition that this is a more complicated problem and we’re going to have to get everybody together from all sides," Lankford told reporters.

The White House said the meeting was productive and that Trump remained committed to the RFS, farmers and energy workers.

"He understands there are differing views on this issue, and the Administration looks forward to working with all the stakeholders toward a mutually agreeable path forward," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

REFINERS SEEK CHANGES

The RFS was introduced more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush as a way to boost U.S. agriculture, slash energy imports and cut emissions, and has since fostered a market for ethanol amounting to 15 billion gallons a year.

Refiners oppose the RFS because they say it costs them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in blending and regulatory expenses while propping up demand for rival fuels. Refiners that do not have the facilities to blend biofuels must purchase credits, called RINs, from those that do and hand them into the EPA once a year.

A refining lobbyist briefed on Thursday's meeting said one possible solution discussed was capping the RINs - an idea that is opposed by the Renewable Fuels Association, the largest biofuel trade group.

The refining industry has requested tweaks to the policy in the past that would cut the annual volume targets for biofuels, allow ethanol exports to be counted against those targets, or shift the blending burden to supply terminals.

While the leadership of the EPA, which administers the RFS, had considered some of the changes, it ultimately rejected them under pressure from Midwestern lawmakers, and slightly increased biofuels volumes targets for 2018.

The meeting with Trump could set the stage for negotiations over legislation, but any measure would likely require cooperation from representatives of the corn belt. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said this week he was not invited to the meeting and called it "a waste of time."

Biofuels industry representatives did not attend the meeting.

Cruz has said he would block Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey's nomination to a key post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture until he gets a meeting about biofuels that includes all sides on the issue.

Trump open to biofuel policy reform, senators say after meeting
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Write your thoughts here
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post
Post also to:
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email