U.S. EPA may grant fewer biofuel waivers due to low credit prices: Wheeler

Environment

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on the FY2020 EPA Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could grant fewer waivers to small refineries exempting them from the country’s biofuel policy, the agency’s administrator told Reuters on Thursday, citing lower prices for blending credits that have reduced the cost of compliance.

In an interview, Andrew Wheeler said the agency was expecting to receive recommendations from the Department of Energy by the end of the week on which biofuel waiver applications still pending should be granted. Some 39 refineries have filed applications for small refinery waivers for the 2018 compliance year.

He added that the EPA was on track to complete a rule allowing year-round sales of higher ethanol blends of gasoline, a move promised to corn farmers by President Donald Trump, by June – in time for the summer driving season.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dan Grebler

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