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Proposed biofuels policy “delayed indefinitely”

Photo by Ben Nuelle

A news update on the feud between ethanol makers and oil refiners.  

Reuters reports the Trump Administration has indefinitely delayed a proposed overhaul of U.S. biofuels policy, aimed at reducing costs for the oil industry, under pressure from corn state lawmakers who worry the move would undermine demand for ethanol, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The White House had been poised to announce reforms to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Program early this week, after hosting months of difficult negotiations between representatives of each constituencies.

“The announcement won’t be happening,” one source said. The second source said the deal had apparently collapsed. Both sources asked not to be identified discussing the matter.

The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) requires oil refiners to mix increasing volumes of biofuels like ethanol into the nation’s fuel each year and prove compliance by earning or acquiring blending credits that must be handed into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The law has helped Midwest corn farmers by creating a 15 billion gallon-a-year market for ethanol, but refining companies have complained it incurs steep costs for them.