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Trump's expected E15 announcement not likely to clear RFS reform stalemate

   date:2018-10-11     Author:S&P Global Platts    Browse:1    
Core tips:Washington — US President Donald Trump is expected Tuesday to announce approval of year-round sales of gasoline blended
Washington — US President Donald Trump is expected Tuesday to announce approval of year-round sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, or E15, along with possible renewable fuel credit market reforms.

However, the policy changes will not take effect until the Environmental Protection Agency formally proposes them through the rulemaking process, which will draw the same political pressure from the oil sector and refinery workers that has stalled attempted reforms for the past two years.

Trump's public schedule for Tuesday includes an evening speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

"President Trump has repeatedly stated his support for the Renewable Fuel Standard program, and plans to make a policy announcement related to the program on Tuesday," White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said Monday.

Trump promised in July, also during a visit to Iowa, that he was "very close" to approving year-round E15.

The E15 waiver had been part of a tentative White House deal between refiners and biofuel makers earlier this year. In exchange for summertime E15 sales, refiners had wanted a policy change allowing them to receive Renewable Identification Numbers for exported ethanol volumes, a potentially lucrative new revenue stream. But Iowa's two senators put the brakes on the White House plan after concluding refiners were getting the better side of the deal.

Ethanol RINs have plunged 82% since the start of the year, in large part because of EPA's acceleration of the granting of small refiners hardship waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

S&P Global Platts assessed D6 ethanol Renewable Identification Numbers for 2018 compliance at 13 cents/RIN Friday, compared with 70.5 cents/RIN at the start of the year.

RINs are tradable credits issued by EPA to track production and use of alternative transportation fuels. For corn-based ethanol, one gallon of ethanol yields one RIN.
label: Chemical News

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