Federal law lets smaller oil refineries apply for an exemption from the requirement that ethanol be blended into gasoline. Early this year, a federal court ruled the EPA could only extend previously granted waivers and could not grant new ones.
This summer, the EPA has been considering 52 waiver requests for previous years that would have let oil refineries qualify for extensions. All 52 have been rejected.
In a written statement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the decision “follows President Trump’s promise to promote domestic biofuel production and support our nation’s farmers.”
Monte Shaw of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said today’s action by the EPA “short circuits a blatant attempt by some oil refiners to skirt” federal ethanol requirements. The end result will be the number of oil refineries eligible to receive an ethanol blending waiver has been “reduced to single digits,” according to Shaw.
Governor Kim Reynolds said this is a significant step forward for the state’s renewable fuel industry. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said today’s announcement provides certainty to farmers who’ve been yanked around by the EPA.
On Saturday, Trump announced the EPA would not stand in the way of states that decide to let gas stations dispense E15 from pumps that now dispense E10.