MOSCOW (MRC) -- Democratic U.S. congressional members sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging the administration to reject any action that would exempt oil refiners from mandates to blend biofuels into the nation's fuel mix, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The letter comes after a report from Reuters last week that said President Joe Biden's administration, under pressure from labor unions and U.S. senators including from his home state of Delaware, is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. oil refiners from the mandates.
The letter was signed by lawmakers from both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and states including Iowa and Illinois. It included Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Representative Cheri Bustos from Illinois.
The letter was also addressed to the National Economic Council. "We support your efforts to address climate change, but we are concerned that rolling back the RFS obligation for refiners directly contradicts this work," the letter said. "Following through on the actions reportedly under discussion would directly undermine your commitment to address climate change and restore integrity to the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) and we urge you to reject them."
Under the RFS, refiners must blend biofuels into their fuel mix or buy credits, known as RINs, from those that do. Refiners can apply for exemptions to the obligations if they can prove the mandates harm them financially. In the letter, the lawmakers asked EPA instead to stabilize the RIN marketplace by issuing a proposed rule for renewable volume blending obligations for 2021 and 2022.
The lawmakers behind Wednesday's letter largely represent corn-producing states. The RFS policy has pitted some oil refiners and corn groups against each other, as oil refiners find the mandates expensive, while they help boost demand for corn-based ethanol.
As MRC wrote previously, POET, the largest biofuels producer in the United States, is in discussions with Flint Hills Resources to acquire the entirety of Flint Hills’ ethanol assets. Flint Hills, a refining, biofuels and petrochemical company, is based in Wichita, Kansas, and is currently the fifth-largest ethanol producer in the United States. Its biofuels division includes six ethanol plants with a combined capacity of about 800 million gallons per year, 1.5 million tons of distillers grains and about 200 million pounds of corn oil, Reint said.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.