News that the Tuesday meeting at the White House resulted in a commitment to allow year-round sales of 15% ethanol blends was tempered by a reported plan to reallocate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from exempted renewable fuel volumes using exported ethanol gallons. As Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley tweeted after the meeting, the devil will be in the details of the plan to be worked out between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
During an interview with reporters yesterday afternoon, National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak said, “We’re hopeful that as our cabinet members take a look at this idea they’ll understand that it doesn’t fit with the statutory authority under the Renewable Fuel Standard, nor does it fit with our trading obligations as a member of the global community.”
The Renewable Fuels Association is also pleased with approval year-round E15 but very concerned about using RIN credits for exports. “Depending on potential implementation, allowing exports to qualify for RFS compliance could dramatically reduce domestic ethanol demand, while most certainly resulting in retaliatory trade barriers from the countries importing U.S. ethanol,” said Dinneen.