Criticism from the oil industry caused the Trump Administration to restart talks over a proposal to require large refineries to blend more biofuel to make up for exemptions granted to smaller refineries. Three people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg that because of the new discussions, the Environmental Protection Agency called off a planned Friday announcement on proposed biofuel quotas for 2019. It’s the latest stalemate in the clash over U.S. biofuels policy between two key Trump constituencies, which are the oil and agricultural industries.
Ethanol producers and farm-state lawmakers say that recent waivers granted to small refiners have undercut the Renewable Fuels Standard. The administration’s plan to make up for the lost biofuel gallons would have put the burden on non-exempted refineries, prompting an outcry from the two top oil industry trade groups. The EPA had been preparing to unveil a rule that would set biofuel blending targets for 2019 on Friday. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue had planned to travel to Missouri for what was expected to be the biofuel blending announcement.