Conservative groups support biofuel blending waivers


About two dozen conservative groups are asking President Trump to go ahead and waive the controversial biofuel blending requirements fought by at least one small Oklahoma refinery and others.

The groups sent the President a letter this week pitching their request against the Renewable Fuel Standard for the rest of this year.

Twenty-three groups signed the letter and argued the decline in gasoline consumption because of the coronavirus pandemic only makes the 15 billion gallon blending requirement impossible to meet.

“We urge you to revisit the recently established 2020 RFS volumes and direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to build upon recent waivers to ensure the availability of gasoline by waiving these biofuel requirements for the remainder of 2020,” the letter reads.

“First, 2020 RFS volumes will dramatically exceed consumer demand for biofuels, resulting in greater compliance costs, skyrocketing prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), and bureaucratic nightmares,” they argued.

The groups argued that 2020 RFS volumes are based on gasoline demand assumptions that are “clearly inaccurate.”

“— aided by the removal of certain barriers by the FDA, ethanol refiners have found new markets in producing hand sanitizer, a product demanded by hospitals, businesses, and citizens during the COVID19 crisis. Failing to waive the 2020 RFS volumes could divert critical resources from needed sanitizer production to an irrational mandate in the face of falling demand,” stated the groups.

Ethanol producers and corn growers had an expected response.

 “These groups should be ashamed of themselves for trying to capitalize on a global health pandemic to score cheap political points and advance their long-standing anti-farmer, anti-biofuel agenda,” Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group, said in a statement.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year against the Wynnewood Refinery of Oklahoma and two others that had received small refinery waives from the blended fuel requirements which had been granted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Corn growers and ethanol groups had filed suit challenging the approval of the waivers.

The following is a list of the conservative groups that signed and sent the letter to the President.

Americans for Prosperity
ALEC Action
American Commitment
American Energy Alliance
American Legislative Exchange Council
Americans for Tax Reform
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Citizens Against Government Waste
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Eagle Forum
Energy and Environment Legal Institute
Ethan Allen Institute
Heartland Institute
Heritage Action for America
Institute for Liberty
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Rio Grande Foundation
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Tea Party Patriots
Texas Public Policy Foundation
60 Plus Association