President Trump and Cabinet officials have decided to retain the biofuel blending waivers granted to small refineries for now. That's according to reports from Farm Journal Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer. Wiesemeyer reports the administration will take steps to make up for those lost biofuel volumes. Earlier this month, the EPA granted 31 small refinery biofuel waivers.
Wiesemeyer reports a plan under development would encourage the use of gas that contains 15% ethanol and would increase by 500 million gallons the amount of conventional renewable fuels that have to be used in those mandates.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue made a bid to the White House to rescind some of the recently issued waivers, at least those for refineries tied to "big" oil companies. EPA officials successfully argued that would be illegal.
Perdue also refuted an EPA statement that the small refinery exemptions are having "zero impact" on corn ethanol producers. Perdue talked about it at a Virginia appearance. He said, "I would refute this comment as negative impact. They [EPA] like to point to the export totals over ethanol production, which is good and healthy. We're trying to get more ethanol exports out there, but the demand destruction over domestic usage has been affected by the small refinery waivers."
Secretary Perdue said he met with the President last Thursday in the Oval Office and said they've made some progress on the issue.