Steelworkers union calls for RFS reforms following PES announcement

A United Steelworkers official called for reforms in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard after Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC announced that it was seeking federal bankruptcy protection because of high costs incurred in meeting the regulation’s renewable fuel quotas.

A United Steelworkers official called for reforms in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard after Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC announced that it was seeking federal bankruptcy protection because of high costs incurred in meeting the regulation’s renewable fuel quotas (OGJ Online, Jan. 23, 2018).

Kim Nibarger, the union’s national oil bargaining chairman, said in Pittsburgh that the USW joined independent refiners and leading figures from both major US political parties more than a year ago to address imbalances created by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s use of renewable identification numbers (RIN) to track RFS compliance.

“Now, as a result of inaction, union members working at PES face an uncertain future,” he said following the refiner’s announcement, which cited the cost of complying with the requirement as the main contributor to more than $1 billion of debt that the company has incurred.

“Independent refiners generally lack the capacity and infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline and must purchase RINs at prices artificially inflated due to hoarding by the largest oil companies and manipulation by the ethanol industry,” Nibarger maintained.

“Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake,” he warned.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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