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EPA Nominee Pruitt Confirmed


Last week, Democratic Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) joined all Senate Republicans to move ahead with Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA.

After being confirmed, Pruitt will be able to rewrite or rescind environmental regulations including the RFS. In 2013, Pruitt filed a “friend of the court” brief in an RFS lawsuit challenging the corn ethanol mandate. “The evidence is clear that the current ethanol fuel mandate is unworkable,” Pruitt said in a press statement in 2013. Supporters, including Senate EPW Chairman Barrasso of Wyoming, say he would rein in overzealous Obama-era rules and restore balance to environmental regulation, making good on President Trump’s promise to focus the EPA on its core mission of protecting the air and water.

Meanwhile, uncertainty on how the Trump Administration will tackle the RFS has significantly reduced the value of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Responsibility for complying with the RFS currently falls to refiners who must buy RINs to prove their fuel has been blended with biofuel. Companies, including Valero and CVR Energy, have said they are being pressed by the annual government mandates that require that they use increasing amounts of ethanol in motor fuels. These companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with the RFS and have petitioned EPA to shift this responsibility downstream to “position holders” at the terminal rack.

PMAA continues to urge Congress and the Administration to lower the corn ethanol mandate which will resolve UST compatibility concerns with E10 plus blends. Additionally, reducing the ethanol mandate will reduce RIN values which will bring fairness to the retail motor fuels marketplace.

Federal Environment

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