Just one day after the election, the EPA has rejected a request by the oil industry and ruled in favor of renewable fuels. Oil refiners had petitioned the EPA to allow them to change the point of obligation, which means refiners would shift the responsibility for blending ethanol into gasoline to wholesalers and retailers. Tom Buis, with Growth Energy, said the agency rejected the request on Thursday, which is good news for ethanol, “Our goal has been to give consumers more choice at the pump with E-15. If the oil industry request had been approved, it would have made it harder to get E-15 at the pump.” The agency is set to release new blending requirements at the end of this month, and Buis is optimistic the agency will allow the highest blending levels allowed by law.
Buis said he is optimistic that the EPA under a Trump administration will be a much different agency, “There will be a change in leadership and philosophy. Mr. Trump will be taking a look at all the regulations.”
While President-Elect Trump and VP-Elect Pence are both strong supporters of the Renewable Fuels Standard, Buis says ethanol still faces a tough fight in Washington, “In Washington, hypocrisy is not a sin — it is a fine art. So we have to remain vigilant to make sure people don’t change their minds.”