Dec. 1, 2016
By John Siciliano
A group of strange bedfellows, namely the oil and renewable fuel industries, are coming together in a rare call of support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuel program.
The groups, which can sometimes be found suing one another, sent a letter Wednesday night asking EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy not to sign off on a change proposed by refining giant Valero and Monroe Energy to the Renewable Fuel Standard that would fundamentally change the program and create even more havoc for oil and renewable fuel companies.
The program requires refiners to blend higher and higher amounts of renewable fuel into the nation’s gasoline and diesel supplies. One need only glance at a fuel pump to see the fingerprints of the standard, usually a sticker that says the fuel contains 10 percent ethanol.
But Valero said it has become incredibly costly and burdensome to comply with the standard given consumers’ lackluster demand for higher blends of ethanol in gasoline above 10 percent. The company petitioned the EPA and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to rearrange the program to put the fuel retailers that deliver the fuel to local convenience stores and gas stations on the hook to meet the requirements, instead of the refiners.