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Trump EPA decides not to appeal court ruling limiting biofuel waivers

March 26/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a court ruling that would sharply reduce its use of waivers exempting refineries from the nationís biofuels regulation, a big win for the Corn Lobby, according to a Reuters case docket review, said Reuters.

The EPA had until the end of March 24 to file a challenge, but by early March 25, no such filing had been entered in a case docket on the U.S. governmentís electronic public access service for court records.

A decision by the administration of President Donald Trump not to appeal the ruling marks a big win for the U.S. corn lobby and a blow to the oil industry.

Oil refiners say the waivers have been crucial to keeping small refineries afloat, but the agriculture industry counters that they have been overused and have cut into demand for corn-based ethanol.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, refiners are required to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into their gasoline every year, a boon for corn farmers. But the EPA can give out waivers to small facilities that prove that compliance would put them in financial straits.

The waiver program was cast into question in January after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration had been too free with the waivers and set a standard for the exemptions that would greatly reduce the numbers of waivers the EPA can grant.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a group that represents merchant refiners, said the administrationís decision to not file an appeal by the deadline effectively ends the small-refinery exemption program.

ďIt is astonishing that President Trump has abandoned our countryís small-refinery workers and the communities that rely on these critical facilities in this time of national crisis and economic uncertainty,Ē AFPM President Chet Thompson said.

The biofuels industry cheered the decision and called for the administration to apply the ruling broadly.

ďRequesting a re-hearing would have only prolonged uncertainty in the marketplace and exacerbated the pain and frustration already being experienced in the Heartland,Ē said groups including the Renewable Fuels Association in a statement.

As MRC informed earlier, US Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa have asked the Trump administration not to appeal a court ruling that would slash the use of small refinery biofuel waivers, but have not heard back yet on its decision.

 President Donald Trump said the United States would take advantage of low oil prices and fill the nationís emergency crude oil reserve, in a move aimed to help energy producers struggling from the price plunge.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 215,390 tonnes in the first month of 2020, up by 23% year on year. Shipments of all grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) increased due to higher capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 127,240 tonnes in January 2020, up by 33% year on year. ZapSibNeftekhim's homopolymer PP accounted for the main increase in shipments.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, petrochemistry, Crude oil.
Category:General News
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