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Americas Biodiesel Ethanol

Trump biofuel policy shift would require Congressional approval, US gasoline marketers say

President Trump’s expected executive order shifting Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance obligations from refiner to blender requires an act of Congress, according to the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA).
The fuel marketers trade group said Tuesday that the US President does not have the legal authority to move the Renewable Fuel Standard’s “point of obligation” from the refiner to blender.
Reports leaked early Tuesday that President Trump was likely to issue an executive order as early as today directing the EPA to shift compliance requirements under the RFS downstream from the refinery to the terminal rack.
The National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) said that under this significant policy shift, the new “obligated parties” under the RFS would be fuel retailers and wholesalers that purchase product in bulk “above the rack” and assume a motor fuel excise tax liability.
These entities would be required to buy Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), as tradeable credits to show compliance with the RFS and renewable volume obligations, NATSO added.
While Trump’s proposed policy shift has already begun to elicit opposition amongst renewable fuel proponents, SIGMA reiterates that the 45th President does not have the legal authority to change the point of obligation by executive order.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based organization said in a statement that to make such a change, the Agency must initiate a new rulemaking under the Administrative Procedures Act, which will require a new notice and comment period.
SIGMA added that it remains opposed to moving the RFS point of obligation “because it continues to believe that doing so will create havoc in the fuels market and will ultimately result in higher prices at the pump for consumers.”

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EP – 28/02/2017

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