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EPA considering compromise plan on ethanol waivers

Two industry sources have said that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler is looking at a compromise plan when it comes to ethanol waivers. Wheeler is considering a plan that would offer small refineries partial relief from blending requirements set forth in the Renewable Fuels Standard. The move could be a potential compromise between the ethanol and oil industries, two of President Trump’s core support groups. 36 refineries have sent in requests for exemptions from their 2018 blending requirements.

Corn and ethanol groups say the waivers continue to undermine the ethanol standard and reduce demand for the biofuel. A report on Wednesday says the EPA has suspended a plan that would publish the names of each refinery that gets a biofuel blending exemption. Both the White House and the oil industry came out in opposition to making the names public.

A group of Republican senators asked Wheeler to account for the ethanol blend wall and reset statutory targets so that the contributions of conventional biofuel is below an implied 10 percent level for 2020, or 14.2 billion gallons. The Renewable Fuels Association says the EPA should instead utilize its reset authority to reallocate lost volumes from its excessive use of small refinery waivers.

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