WASHINGTON, Mar. 22, 2017 - A bipartisan group of 23 senators, led by Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reject any proposed changes that would “upend the current successful system.”
The senators say such changes are “unwarranted and indefensible.”
The letter followed the surfacing of a rumored deal between Carl Icahn, a policy adviser for the president who also has ownership in a refinery, and the Renewable Fuels Association that would change the point of obligation under the RFS in exchange for a regulatory fix that would allow for year-round sale of E15. A White House spokeswoman later denied that any such deal was in the offing.
In their letter, the senators emphasize the detrimental effects of changing the point of obligation from refiners to blenders, marketers or retailers, and urged the president to “steer clear” of administrative changes to the policy that would “undermine the program.”
Changing the point of obligation runs contrary to the administration’s goals of promoting domestic energy independence, the senators say.
The letter says the move would also “result in a massive, costly, time-consuming shift in compliance.” Refiners would have little incentive to produce necessary fuel blends, the senators say, which would make it difficult for downstream entities to comply. And small businesses, especially in rural areas, lack the resources needed to comply.
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The senators also maintain that the program administration would become complicated, and “unnecessarily result in significant uncertainty and market disruptions.”
“The overwhelming majority of transportation fuel market participants oppose any change to the point of obligation because it would cause massive disruptions and could lead to higher prices for consumers,” the letter says.
To read the senators’ letter, click here.