Refiners, meanwhile, point to the fragile economy and the need to protect good union jobs at refineries in key states such as Pennsylvania. They say they’d like to get beyond trench warfare over the RFS and the exemptions, but it’s unclear where the two sides might find common ground.
Inheriting ‘a mess’
In his final hours running the EPA under President Donald Trump, Andrew Wheeler issued several additional small refinery exemptions, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals put those on hold. The incoming administration also will be responsible for issuing the required volumes for this year, which are overdue, and for handling proposed rules in areas such as ethanol warning labels on gas pumps.
“Michael Regan is inheriting quite a mess from Administrator Wheeler on the RFS,” Cooper said. “It’s going to take some work to clean that mess up.”
The oil industry would like to see an overhaul of the entire system.
“The RFS is a fundamentally flawed and outdated program that continues to challenge the refining industry, the will of the marketplace and the American consumer’s best interests,” Ron Chittim, American Petroleum Institute vice president of downstream policy, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Congress and the incoming administration to modernize our nation’s outdated biofuel policies.”