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 CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem debate contenders take aim at Warren The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump declares 'case closed' as text messages raise new questions Top House Democrat: Trump did 'on camera' what Romney warned about MORE (Okla.), John CornynJohn CornynSuccession at DHS up in the air as Trump set to nominate new head Trying to kick tobacco again This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington MORE (Texas), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong How to survive an impeachment Are Senate Republicans certain that Trump can return to office? MORE (Ariz.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets Republican lawmaker proposes transferring drone authority to local governments A decade of policymaking failures is to blame for new Syria crisis MORE (Utah), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight 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 MORE (Pa.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziPoll: Majority of independent voters want GOP to retain control of Senate in 2020 Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Liz Cheney and Rand Paul extend war of words MORE (Wyo.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTo stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US GOP senator: Iran is behind attack on Saudi Arabia MORE (Wyo.) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show McConnell support for election security funds leaves Dems declaring victory Election security funds passed by Senate seen as welcome first step MORE (Okla.).

The letter comes after EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSierra Club sues EPA over claim that climate change 'is 50 to 75 years out' EPA on 'forever chemicals': Let them drink polluted water EPA moving ahead with science transparency rule by 'early next year' 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.