Wanting it both ways

For quite some time now the Trump administration has tried to find a win/win on the issue of small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuels Standard.  The President is caught in between two groups within his base of supporters.  Throughout his time in office the President has publicly pledged his support for the biofuels industry while at the same time appeasing oil interests by allowing his EPA to continue to grant waivers to the RFS.  The recent ruling by the 10th circuit court gave the administration a blueprint to use for the future.  EPA has used an earlier ruling to justify its generous approval of waiver requests but now is hesitating on using the same reasoning for changing its policy.  Despite the assurances of Secretary Perdue that a change was imminent, the Administration has instead requested and received a two week extension to decide whether or not to appeal the court’s decision.  After all this time it’s unlikely they will find an acceptable compromise in the next few days.  Perhaps the Administration feels an appeal, which is unlikely to be upheld, will allow them to say to the oil industry that they tried to fight the court ruling while at the same time saying to the biofuels industry don’t worry because eventually we’ll make the changes you want.  If that’s the strategy, it’s not working..  The two week delay has only intensified lobbying efforts by both sides and further strained the patience of all involved.  Perhaps the President is counting on another round of MFP payments to appease farmers concerns on this issue. Again that would be another bad choice.  MFP payments, while helpful to many in the short term, does not address the long term market destruction being done by the waivers.  This delay has picked the scab off of an old wound and comes at a bad time for the President in the midst of his reelection campaign. The longer he waits the worse it gets.  This decision should have been made a long time ago.  The courts have ruled in favor of the biofuels industry but the money and influence of Big Oil are formidable.  It’s decision time.  We’ll soon find out if the President’s actions are as loud as his words.