USW Urges White House to Reform Broken Renewable Fuel Standard, Warns that Inaction Threatens Thousands of Jobs
Wednesday 6th June 2018 , 12:06 ET
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The United Steelworkers (USW) today urged the White House to follow through with proposed changes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) designed to reduce compliance costs for independent merchant oil refiners.
Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Jodi Ernst this week derailed a compromise on RFS reform to address the concerns raised by the USW and merchant refiners while insulating the ethanol industry and farms that supply it from any potential negative impact.
Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), used by the EPA to track compliance with the biofuel mandate, have become commodities that are hoarded by the largest companies or bought and sold to the highest bidders, making it increasingly difficult for smaller refineries that lack the capacity or infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline to keep up.
Inaction by the Trump administration now threatens the livelihood of thousands of East Coast refinery workers and tens of thousands of related jobs throughout the Northeast, and RIN traders responded with a nearly 50 percent price increase overnight.
Escalating RIN prices drove Philadelphia Energy Solutions to seek protection in federal bankruptcy court earlier this year, and without meaningful action from the administration, other East Coast USW employers, such as PBF Energy and Monroe Energy could be forced down a similar path.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)