The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering whether to let oil refineries stop adding ethanol to their fuels.
Oil prices have been falling steadily amid a number of Trump administration efforts to ease financial pressure on the industry. Ethanol producers, however, say they have likewise been affected as its economy suffers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the EPA, five governors from oil-producing states said their refineries should be let off the hook from meeting legal requirements to add ethanol to their products, arguing the oil industry is in too dire a position to do so.
Petroleum demand has fallen 30% due to the pandemic, something ethanol producers likewise say has hurt their bottom line.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the effects of the Saudi-Russia oil price war, has had a devastating impact on the US ethanol industry, slashing production by half and leading to the idling of dozens of plants across rural America,” the Renewable Fuels Association said in a release.
The pressure on the Trump administration to offer relief to refiners is the latest in a row between ethanol producers and the oil industry.
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