The governors of five oil-patch states are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to waive obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard for refiners due to COVID-19. 

Governors from Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Louisiana sent a letter to the EPA earlier this week. 

They claim refiners in their states face financial hardship because of the oil-market disruptions caused by economic shutdowns around the world. 

They also point out that prices for Renewable Identification Numbers have tripled, further compounding a tough situation. 

However, Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, calls this an offensive attempt by refiners to steal markets from struggling biofuel producers and farmers. 

“Any move to unravel the RFS now would dim any hopes of economic recovery in rural America, where so many in the U.S. biofuel industry have been impacted by furloughs and plant closures, all while millions of farmers struggle to stay afloat,” she says. 

“We’ve seen the courts reject his kind of abuse before.” 

She also points out that even the oil companies themselves admit that biofuel credits don’t impose a real cost on refiners. 

“We see this as a non-starter,” Skor adds.