Big Corn and Big Oil have been dueling over the future of the Renewable Fuels Standard, which requires oil refiners to mix biofuels like corn-heavy ethanol into their fuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires refineries to blend increasing volumes of biofuels into their fuel each year. The proposed plan would include an increase to biofuels requirements for 2020 of 1 billion gallons (3.8 billion liters) and the agricultural industry wants the administration to force larger refineries to make up for the exempted gallons through reallocation. The proposed plan, discusses 500 million gallons for conventional biofuels and 500 million gallons for advanced biofuels (like biodiesel).
Plans to build charging stations across the country are being crushed by groups backed by industry giants like Exxon Mobil and Koch Empire. According to utility commission filings, these groups have challenged electric companies’ across the United States. Electric utilities are seeking approval on building charging networks in locations such as shopping centers and rest stops across the nation. Whereas the petroleum sector, represented by multiple trade associations and industry-funded political groups, and consumer advocates say they should not have to pay for these services. Stating, their customers will have to pay for the investments helping utilities “pad” their balance sheets. Fossil fuel interests control about 90 percent of the transportation fuel market in the U.S. but are feeling more and more pressure from the electric wave.
A growing number of companies are “running” to build export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico. The reason for this growth is an excess amount of oil in the ports of Houston and Corpus Christi. Deepwater crude export terminals are needed from the thriving Permian Basin. Requiring billions of dollars of investment, they would stretch from Brownsville, Texas to southeastern Louisiana. “The congestion is shifting from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast,” said Sandy Fielden, director of oil and products research at investment research firm Morningstar. “There’s lots of traffic that these offshore terminals can sort of bypass.”
Back in December of 2016, the United States lifted its crude oil export restrictions. This new source of seaborne cargo, changed the global tanker industry. This adjustment intensified operators focus on U.S. crude ever since. With the recent renewed sanctions targeting Iran and rising geopolitical tensions near the Strait of Hormuz. However, with the rising U.S. tanker markets, is this a positive change or is there a downside?
Early Friday morning, a massive explosion occurred in south Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex. The 150-year-old oil refinery, opened in 1866 just after the Civil War, had a vat of butane ignite and explode causing Interstates 76 and 95 to close and even “rattled” homes in the South Jersey area.