Biofuel feud heats up after oil refinery bankruptcy

Feud between U.S. farm interests and oil-refining advocates is heating up.

The feud between U.S. farm interests and oil-refining advocates is heating up as the two sides spar over what’s to blame for the bankruptcy of the largest refinery on the East Coast.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC blamed its woes on the cost of complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard when it filed for bankruptcy last month. The refinery said the biofuel mandate had cost it more than $800 million since 2012, and now the industry is seizing on that statement as fresh evidence that changes to the regulation are urgently needed.

Biofuel proponents, on the other hand, say Philadelphia Energy Solutions was more harmed by losing affordable access to cheap domestic crude oil from North Dakota than by the biofuel mandate. The chief executive officer of Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the head of United Steelworkers International issued a joint statement saying there’s room for both biofuel producers and oil refiners “to thrive.”

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