Renewable Energy Monitor Quotes Kevin Johnson on Standoff in Reform of Biofuel Policy

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Energy and natural resource attorney Kevin Johnson was quoted in NewsBase’s Renewable Energy Monitor in an article titled “Trump puts 3-month freeze on US ethanol reform,” published April 12, 2018. The article discusses the status of U.S. biofuel policy, which has in part pitted the nation’s agricultural and oil refining lobbies in a battle over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Trump administration is reported to have planned to delay any attempts at biofuel policy reform for about 90 days.

The RFS requires oil refiners to blend ethanol into their gasoline or buy credits – known as Renewable
Identification Numbers (RINs) – if they do not blend it themselves, which the oil industry says can cause hardship, especially for small refineries that are the more likely purchasers of RINs. Proponents of the RFS, including farmers who grow the corn used to make most of the ethanol used in the U.S., say it helps support the farmers and others during down times and point to the reduction in air pollution emitted by vehicles.

The fight between the oil and corn industries pits one part of President Trump’s power base against another part, a standoff that also exists among members of the majority Republican party, according to Johnson. Republicans represent the farm belt but they also represent states where the oil industry dominates, he said.

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