Scaled-back renewable-fuels targets leaked from the Environmental Protection Agency are still excessive, the American Petroleum Institute said in a Thursday press call. EPA is “moving in the right direction” with the reductions, said Bob Greco, API’s director of downstream activities, but still “needs to go lower.”
API’s goals aren’t far from the new EPA standards, which remain preliminary and have not been verified. The group is calling for production mandates of 12.9 million gallons of corn ethanol; the EPA draft circulated earlier this month would set levels at 13 million gallons. “The concern is they’re trying to shave this so close,” Greco said. “We don’t think the EPA has gone far enough if the leaked proposal is accurate.”
The problem, according to API, is that biofuel mandates were set with assumptions that gasoline demand would continue to increase, which has not been the case. Greco cited a study that said too-high ethanol mandates would decrease U.S. GDP by $770 billion and take-home pay by $580 billion. Continued hikes in the production mandate, Greco said, would push the U.S. past the “blend wall”—the 10 percent of ethanol content currently the standard for most cars’ fuel. “Passing the blend wall would cause a … fuel-cost increase and fuel-supply disruptions,” he said. “We need the EPA to act immediately to provide relief to consumers.”
Even if the agency’s lowered proposals end up as the final targets, Greco said it will not affect API’s lawsuits challenging EPA’s mandates. He reiterated that the group is still prepared to file suit if the agency fails to meet a Nov. 30 deadline for next year’s mandates.
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"As Donald Trump captures the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee, a new poll finds he begins his general election campaign well behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. The new CNN/ORC Poll, completed ahead of Trump's victory last night, found Clinton leads 54% to 41%, a 13-point edge over the New York businessman, her largest lead since last July. Clinton is also more trusted than Trump on many issues voters rank as critically important, with one big exception. By a 50% to 45% margin, voters say Trump would do a better job handling the economy than Clinton would."
In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal sets out to relieve conservatives of the temptation to back a third-party candidate over Donald Trump. "The thought is more tempting this year than most, but it’s still hard to see how this would accomplish more than electing Hillary Clinton and muddling the message from a Trump defeat. ... The usual presidential result is that the party that splinters hands the election to the other, more united party." But in the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol is having none of it: "Serious people, including serious conservatives, cannot acquiesce in Donald Trump as their candidate. ... Donald Trump should not be president of the United States. The Wall Street Journal cannot bring itself to say that. We can say it, we do say it, and we are proud to act accordingly."
- Nate Cohn, New York Times: "There have been 10-point shifts over the general election season before, even if it’s uncommon. But there isn’t much of a precedent for huge swings in races with candidates as well known as Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. A majority of Americans may not like her, but they say they’re scared of him."
- Roger Simon, PJ Media: "He is particularly fortunate that his opposition, Hillary Clinton, besides still being under threat of indictment and still not having defeated Bernie Sanders (go figure), is a truly uninspiring, almost soporific, figure. ... She's not a star. Trump is. All attention will be on him in the general election. The primaries have shown us what an advantage that is. What that means for American politics may not all be good, but it's true."
- The editors, The Washington Examiner: "At the very least, Trump owes it to the country he boasts he will 'make great again' to try to demonstrate some seriousness about the office he seeks. He owes this even to those who will never consider voting for him. He can start by swearing off grand displays of aggressive and apparently deliberate ignorance. This is not too much to ask."
Humana announced it plans to "exit certain statewide individual markets and products 'both on and off [Obamacare] exchange,' the insurer said in its financial results released Monday." The company also said price hikes may be forthcoming, "commensurate with anticipated levels of risk by state." Its individual-market enrollment was down 21% in the first quarter from a year ago.