U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency officials met today to discuss ways to increase ethanol usage and to address refiner concerns about volatility in the market for biofuel credits. Yet apparently again there were no results from the meeting that followed months of discussions at the White House on the issue. It also follows months of concerns over the way EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is overseeing the program. The ethanol industry is pressing the EPA to finally move forward with issuing a vapor pressure waiver that will allow E15 to be sold all year. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says President Trump promised to protect the statutory targets under the RFS. “We support Secretary Perdue’s efforts to ensure the EPA upholds the commitment to rural families,” Skor says, “and there’s no reason to delay or attach unrelated gimmicks to benefit a few refinery owners.” The meeting comes as Marathon, the nation’s second-largest refining company, is seeking a waiver from the RFS blending requirements. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Marathon request shows that the “embarrassing loophole,” as he calls the RFS waiver authority, needs to be fixed.
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