The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal program mandating oil refiners to blend a certain amount of renewable fuels, such as corn ethanol, into the nation's fuel supply every year.
This is one of the most egregious examples of the government picking winners and losers. Washington has deemed the workers at Pennsylvania's oil refineries the losers.
While sales of gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (E10) are available year-round, there is a ban on sales of fuel with 15% ethanol (E15) in the summer months, due to the smog it produces. Recently, the Trump administration directed the Environmental Protection Agency to craft a rule allowing for the year-round sale of E15 gasoline.
Authorizing the expanded sale of E15 gasoline without meaningful reforms for the U.S. refining sector is a missed opportunity that only benefits ethanol producers and their allies. This legally-dubious proposal does not address the high compliance costs associated with the government's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which threatens thousands of jobs at Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Monroe Energy.
I continue to believe that changes to the RFS should improve conditions for both agriculture and the refining industry. This week's action is not only imbalanced, it risks worsening air quality and hurting consumers.