The Environmental Protection Agency has exempted one of the nation’s largest oil refining companies, Andeavor (ANDV.N), from complying with U.S. biofuels regulations – a waiver historically reserved for tiny operations in danger of going belly up, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Andeavor is indeed not a small company – they have 13,000 employees in 18 states.
The exemption only applies to “the three smallest of Andeavor’s ten refineries,” so maybe they’re doing something clever like pretending those three refineries are separate from the rest of the company to get that small-business exemption. Or maybe not. We may not find out who Andeavor’s governmental crony is (unless it’s someone close to the top of the Trump administration, in which case the lefty media will hound the bastard for the rest of his life), but if I had to guess what was behind this exemption, I’d guess cronyism.
And I don’t much care.
The exemption […] marks the first evidence of the EPA freeing a highly profitable multi-billion dollar company from the costly mandates of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. The law requires refiners to blend biofuels such as ethanol into gasoline or purchase credits from those who do such blending.
Because fuck ethanol, that’s why. Any little chip or crack in the ethanol mandate is a net gain for society. It’s an inferior, energy-inefficient, machine-rotting additive that drives up the price of both fuel and food and exists only to give thinly disguised handouts to corn farmers. If Iowa didn’t loom so disproportionately large in presidential elections, the ethanol mandate would probably cease to exist.
And as for Andeavor being too big to deserve “a free pass” (as handout-loving Iowa senator Chuck Grassley put it), I’m less offended that some ethanol exemption went to a multi-billion dollar oil business than I am that some of the ethanol handout went to multi-billion dollar agribusinesses. Some forms of cronyism are less harmful than others.