GOP senators ask Trump for meeting on biofuels mandate

GOP senators ask Trump for meeting on biofuels mandate
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A group of Republican senators has asked to meet with President Trump to discuss the federal biofuels mandate.

Nine senators sent Trump a letter on Wednesday warning him that if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “does not make adjustments or reforms on matters related to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it will result in a loss of jobs around the country, particularly in our states.”

The letter, obtained by The Hill on Thursday, is from GOP senators from oil- and refining-heavy states: Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian The case for a new branch of the military: United States Space Force The problem with hindsight MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenators to Trump: Keep pressure on North Korea while exploring talks Why did this administration back the Palestine Liberation Organization in terrorism case? Overnight Defense: Top general says countering Iran in Syria isn't US mission | Trump, Boeing reach 'informal' agreement for new Air Force One | Chair warns of Russian mercenaries in Syria MORE (Okla.), John CornynJohn CornynTrump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller Senate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Senate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed MORE (Texas), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed Trump prepared to hit China with B in annual tariffs: report White House, Democrats reject competing DACA offers MORE (Ariz.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Congress moving to end US involvement in Yemen This week: Congress races to prevent third shutdown MORE (Utah), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyWH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying MORE (Pa.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziA failure to protect students and taxpayers Corker: Why can the Pentagon 'turn entire countries into craters' but not audit itself? Sales tax battle moves to the Supreme Court MORE (Wyo.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions USPTO needs to be forced to do its job and reject bad patents Senate Dems propose tax cut rollback to pay for infrastructure MORE (Wyo.) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Lawmakers rally to defend Mueller after McCabe exit Republican on Trump lawyer: A ‘typical attorney’ would call for end of Mueller probe MORE (Okla.).

The letter comes after EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Dem says EPA isn't cooperating on 'privacy booth' probe | Tribe, Zinke split over border wall | Greens tout support for renewables in swing states Overnight Regulation: Facebook faces new crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Whistleblower gets record SEC payout | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian | Trump bans trading in Venezuelan cryptocurrency Senate Dem: Pruitt isn’t cooperating with ‘privacy booth’ probe MORE said he would back off from plans to change the biofuels mandate amid pressure from Midwestern senators.


Pruitt told senators last week that he would not pursue ways to water down the RFS, including lowering the mandate on biodiesel or allowing ethanol exports to count toward the mandate.

Both measures would have effectively reduced the amount of ethanol produced, something Republican and Democratic senators from agriculture states deeply oppose.

But oil and refining industry supporters have long called for reforms to the RFS, which mandates how much ethanol and biodiesel is blended into the fuel supply.

In their letter, the senators said they should be allowed to make their case to Trump, who was especially supportive of ethanol policy during his presidential campaign and reportedly asked Pruitt to back off potential reforms to the RFS.

“We request that within the next three weeks, you convene a meeting regarding the RFS and pro-jobs policies with us, our Senate colleagues who previously lobbied you on behalf of the ethanol industry, and relevant members of your administration to discuss a pathway forward toward a mutually agreeable solution that will also save refining jobs and help unleash an American energy renaissance,” they wrote.