Unique-White Home delays biofuel mandates attributable to political considerations -sources By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An ethanol plant with its huge corn silos next to a corn field in Windsor, Colorado July 7, 2006./file photo

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The White House has postponed an annual rulemaking process to rule on U.S. biofuel blending mandates as it seeks a solution to a controversial issue of labor refinery workers battling the nation’s corn farmers, two Sources familiar with the matter said.

Legislators representing voters from both industries have been pushing the Biden government on this issue for months. The White House has largely stayed out of the discussions but is now hoping to take control of the matter.

The White House review comes as the Biden administration hopes to keep the Democrats united in pushing through a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package that funds most of the president’s top priorities. The Democrats, who have narrow majorities in both houses, will likely have to vote the bill on a party line.

Ron Klain, President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was involved in the discussions, the sources said. Lawmakers representing corn-producing states, including Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, have asked Klain directly.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refineries are required to mix biofuels into their fuel mix or purchase tradable credits known as RINs from those who do.

The law has been a battleground between the oil and corn industries for years. It has created a large market for corn-based ethanol that has helped farmers, but petroleum refiners say it adds cost because they either have to invest in biofuel blending companies, which smaller refiners say is not a viable option, or borrowing from refineries buy that already mix.

The environmental protection agency that manages the RFS did not immediately comment. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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