A Reuters report says the Trump Administration made it easier for oil refiners to get waivers from the Renewable Fuels Standard. They did so at least four months before the 2017 court decision the administration uses to justify the move to the corn lobby.
The Reuters report says the move was motivated by a desire to save the oil industry a lot of money. The timing and motivation for the Environmental Protection Agency’s policy change were revealed through court documents and an interview with a former top agency official.
It hadn’t been previously reported and reinforces corn industry concerns that the decision to expand the waiver program was made by the EPA.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says, “EPA repeatedly told Congress its hands were tied and blamed the courts. That appears to have been a lie. EPA also said it was following the Department of Energy’s recommendations. We know that’s bunk.” Grassley issued a statement saying he was going to “get to the bottom of this.”
The waivers saved the oil industry hundreds of millions of dollars.