Growth Energy today condemned efforts by Carl Icahn, owner of CVR Refining, to strike a backroom deal with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) that would irreparably change the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by shifting the point of obligation from oil refiners to fuel retailers and violating the Trump Administration’s commitment to the RFS.
“If true, this proposal would eviscerate America’s progress under the RFS and impose indefensible costs on consumers,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Neither RFA nor Carl Icahn have the authority to strike a ‘deal.’ Mr. Icahn does not work for the U.S. government; he owns CVR Refining, which would profit directly from this change. RFA does not represent a majority of the biofuels industry; RFA’s largest member is an oil refiner, which would also profit directly from such a change. They’re negotiating for the same side – and that is not the side of the ethanol industry or the American farmer.
“This move would be a slap in the face of rural America, its representatives in Congress, and the president. This is precisely the sort of self-serving insider deal the American consumer rejects. The administration must reject any such proposed deal and protect the program that has been working for 11 years to deliver better, cleaner, and more affordable choices at the pump.
“In exchange for getting his company an exemption for its responsibility under current law, Mr. Icahn has allegedly promised support for a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver from the EPA, a change that already has strong bipartisan support because it is a common sense solution that would increase summer sales of higher ethanol blends.
“Any assertion that this tradeoff would ‘greatly expand the market opportunities for ethanol’ is simply untrue. An RVP waiver means little if retailers no longer have an incentive to sell higher ethanol blends. This would halt and likely reverse all the progress we’ve made with hundreds of gasoline retailers who now offer consumers higher blends of ethanol. Changing the point of obligation impacts hundreds, if not thousands of new parties, demanding new rules, new staff, and new infrastructure. Moreover, the EPA is ill-equipped to manage such a large-scale restructuring of fuel markets, which could mean turmoil for retailers, higher costs for consumers, and years of uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of workers in the biofuel industry.”