Under election year pressure (especially in Iowa), President Trump ordered EPA to deny retroactive waiver requests intended to sidestep a 10th circuit court ruling. The circuit court ruled that waiver requests could only be approved if a refiner had continuously received them. The Trump Administration quadrupled the number of RFS exemptions since taking office.
While the biofuel industry welcomed the move, refiners complained that this action would cause significant economic harm. A day after reports that retroactive waivers would be denied (not official word as of yet), new reports surfaced that the Administration was contemplating at least $300 million in payments to refiners using funds from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Ag Secretary Purdue has since indicated that the USDA has no intention of using CCC for a refiner relief program.