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 CruzCruz: 'I'm glad' Disney fired James Gunn over 'horrible' tweets Washington needs to end hidden inflation tax on our capital gains GOP tax writer introduces bill to reduce capital gains taxes MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTrump’s policies, actions create divide on Russia New EPA chief draws sharp contrast to Pruitt Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (Okla.), John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits MORE (Texas), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains GOP to White House: End summit mystery The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia MORE (Ariz.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (Utah), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (Pa.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziBudget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending Forcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (Wyo.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThe law to protect endangered species in America is working Republican bill aims to deter NATO members from using Russian pipeline Overnight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms MORE (Wyo.) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordGOP seeks separation from Trump on Russia Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Election security bill picks up new support in Senate MORE (Okla.).

The letter comes after EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk Pruitt staffers worried about toxic chemical in his desk Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland MORE said he would back off from plans to change the biofuels mandate amid pressure from Midwestern senators.

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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.