White House Denies Rumors on Ethanol Mandate Change

No plans for an executive order on point of obligation, according to White House spokeswoman.

March 01, 2017

WASHINTON – Early yesterday, several news outlets were reporting that the White House was close to issuing an Executive Order on shifting the point of obligation from refiners, manufacturers and importers downstream to blenders or position holders. In a backroom deal between the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Trump Administration advisor, Carl Icahn, RFA announced that in exchange for a one-pound Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for E15, it was reversing its position from opposing to now supporting a shift in the point of obligation. 

In a joint statement by the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) President and CEO Lisa Mullings and Tim Columbus, general counsel NACS and (SIGMA, said in response to the deal between the RFA and Icahn to shift the obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from refiners to fuel retailers:

“This backroom deal would severely undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard and force everyday Americans to shoulder the burdens of higher fuel costs and more expensive goods. A majority of the fuel industry, including most refiners and large sectors of transport as well as renewable fuel producers, are united to keep the compliance requirements where they are today. Making this change would only benefit a handful of companies at the expense of average, hardworking Americans.”

Later in the afternoon, after a barrage of inquiries and questions, a White House spokeswoman denied rumors of a change to the ethanol mandate in an email to reporters which stated, “there isn’t an ethanol EO in the works.” 

“While we hope that there is indeed no executive order looming in the near future, Carl Icahn and his allies will continue their efforts to shift their responsibilities to fuel retailers,” said Paige Anderson, director of government relations for NACS. “Now, more than ever, on behalf of small businesses and consumers, it is imperative that we remain vigilant in opposing what is essentially a bailout to a few group of merchant refiners.” 

Last week, NACS submitted written comments to EPA explaining why moving the point of obligation under the RFS will harm the fuel market and consumers as reported in NACS Daily.