Small U.S. refiners vow to sue EPA if it fails to issue 2018 waiver rulings in 60 days

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small U.S.

Reuters July 18, 2019 04:07:33 IST
Small U.S. refiners vow to sue EPA if it fails to issue 2018 waiver rulings in 60 days

Small US refiners vow to sue EPA if it fails to issue 2018 waiver rulings in 60 days

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small U.S. refineries plan to sue Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 60 days, if the agency by then fails to issue its decisions on 2018 petitions for waivers from the nation's biofuel laws, refiners said in a letter on Wednesday.

The waiver programme, which exempts small refiners in financial turmoil from their obligation to blend ethanol into gasoline, have been a source of contention between the rivalling corn and oil industries since U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a review of it after hearing complaints from farmers.

Since Trump took office, the EPA has more than quadrupled the number of waivers it has granted to refiners, saving the oil industry hundreds of millions of dollars, but enraging another key constituency - corn growers - who claim the move threatens ethanol demand. Refiners dismiss the argument.

The small refinery coalition represented by LeAnn Johnson in its letter said the EPA is required to act on a petition within 90 days after receipt and that it also failed to issue decisions on the outstanding 40 petitions for 2018 by March 31, 2019, which it said was the compliance deadline.

"This letter ... provides notice of our intent to sue in federal court 60 days after delivery of this letter ... The small refinery owners, however, urge the administrator to issue the 2018 decisions as soon as possible, so it will be unnecessary to file suit," it said.

Industry sources have told Reuters in recent weeks that 2018 SRE decisions were nearly finalised before Trump intervened and demanded a review. Since then, EPA, along with Department of Agriculture have been scrambling to come up with a solution.

The Department of Energy provided the EPA its scoring results for the 40 outstanding 2018 applications in late April, sources told Reuters.

The Renewable Fuel Standard, a more than decade-old regulation that is aimed at helping farmers and reducing U.S. dependence on oil, has been at the heart of a major rift between the oil and corn lobbies, leaving Trump struggling to find a balance between the two important constituencies as he eyes a bid for re-election next year.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Susan Thomas)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.