The Trump Administration is considering the possibility of at least $300 million in cash aid for U.S. oil refiners, who’ve been denied exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Two sources told Reuters that while the administration hasn’t yet ruled on 2019 waiver requests, officials have estimated the amount of money it would provide in aid based on the number of facilities that applied for the exemptions but might now be ineligible because of a recent court ruling.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which has the final say on RFS waivers, didn’t immediately comment on the announcement. Several sources say that financial relief could come from funds within the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation but didn’t know exactly when the aid would be distributed.
A spokesman for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers’ Association says the industry doesn’t support the idea of aid.
“If the administration truly wants to make things right with refiners, they need to prioritize making the RFS less expensive so it’s not a threat to good manufacturing jobs,” the spokesman adds.
The administration had recently quadrupled exemptions for refiners, angering biofuel producers and farmers who say the waivers dent demand for their products.