October 20, 2017 / 7:01 PM / a month ago

FACTBOX-Big Corn delivers defeat to Big Oil

    Oct 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
told lawmakers that its abandoning efforts to reform the
nation's Renewable Fuel Standard and drive the price of the
program's credits down.             
    The move represents a big win for the corn lobby and a major
defeat for refiners seeking the changes. 
    
    The following are various reactions to the news:
    
    White House statement:
    “President Donald J. Trump promised rural America that he
would protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and has never
wavered from that promise. The president has had constructive
conversations with several key officials about the RFS over the
past week, and he understands their concerns. The Trump
administration will protect the RFS and ensure that our nation’s
hardworking farmers continue to fuel America.”
    
    Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen:
    “The U.S. ethanol industry is grateful for Administrator
Pruitt's epiphany on the road to the RFS."
    
    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa:
    “It’s a great day for Iowa and a great day for rural
America. Administrator Pruitt should be commended for following
through on President Trump’s commitment to biofuels and the
RFS."

    Republican Senator Joni Ernst, Iowa: 
    “These assurances are a clear win for Iowans. Echoing the
President’s commitment to advancing the full potential of the
RFS to benefit rural America is welcome at a time when our
family farms are struggling with commodity prices that are below
the cost of production."
    
    Greg Blair, spokesman for the Fueling American Jobs
Coalition, that represents merchant refiners:
    “If the administration follows the course set out in
Administrator Pruitt’s letter, manufacturing jobs in
Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states - jobs President Trump
promised to protect - will be at risk. We hope President Trump
doesn’t turn his back on American workers.”
    
    Statement from Bill Douglass, head of the Small Retailers
Coalition: 
    "Today, under unseemly pressure from Big Corn Senators, EPA
Administrator Scott Pruitt was forced to raise a white flag on
urgent reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that would
have addressed significant and artificial flaws in the retail
gasoline market that are quietly playing out. This failure to
act will skew in the retail markets and result in concentration
of sales the hands of a few big retailers – much to the
detriment of the American consumer."  

    Valero Energy Corp        :
    "These Senators have intervened in a regulatory process, and
the proposals and concepts in the letter address RFS
implementation problems to which these Senators have offered no
constructive solutions. The only unifying principle of their
bullying opposition seems to be a desire to maintain the status
quo at all costs and to protect windfall profits associated with
unregulated trading of renewable identification numbers, or
RINs." 

    Brendan Williams, lobbyist for PBF Energy        :
    "This seems to be a clear case of predetermining the outcome
of a rulemaking. If the Administration finalizes a rule that
looks like this letter, it will be subject to a very high level
of litigation risk."

 (Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
  

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