Biden Considering Relief for U.S. Refiners

The White House is under pressure from labor unions and senators, including those from President Biden’s home state of Delaware, to consider relief for refiners from the biofuel blending mandates. Three sources close to the matter told Reuters that the issue is pitting two of the administration’s most important political constituencies against each other: blue-collar refinery workers and farmers who depend on biofuel mandates to give stability to corn markets. It may prompt a sharp turn in policy for the administration, which had been pulling back the Trump Administration’s expansion of waivers for U.S. refiners from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The credits, called RINs, are currently at their highest price in the 13-year history of the program. Refiners are saying the policy threatens to bankrupt fuel makers who are already hurt by plummeting fuel demand during COVID-19. Biofuel advocates say that fuel makers should have invested in biofuel blending facilities years ago and can pass on the added costs for buying credits. Democratic Senators from Delaware have met with Micheal Regan, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, in recent weeks to talk about providing relief to refiners.