An Update from the SIGMA Annual Meeting

By Ryan McNutt, CEO, SIGMA | November 2016

During its recent Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., SIGMA’s Legislative Committee briefed the membership on the status of the association’s legislative priorities and received feedback from the membership on those issues. Since our meeting, however, the United States has elected a new president, Senate, and House of Representatives, which will have a significant impact on these issues – some that appeared stalled may take on new life, while others may fade.

With a Republican majority in both the House and Senate, and a Republican president, it seems certain that there will be a pro-business climate in Washington for at least the next two years (until the mid-term elections in 2018). During his campaign, president-elect Trump promised to undo many of the Obama Administration’s regulations – particularly those regulating the environment. So, we should expect action within the first 100 days of his administration to roll back or repeal regulations in this area, such as the Waters of the United States rule, perhaps. Another area certain to be at the top of the list in Congress is tax reform.

While a Republican Congress and president would seem to indicate an open door for business-friendly policies, it is important to remember that 60 votes are needed in order to advance legislation through the U.S. Senate, and Republicans will likely hold only 52 seats, – so the support of some Senate Democrats will still be necessary for legislation to reach President Trump’s desk.

SIGMA has several active issues of interest in the last part of the year, including (but not limited to):

Obligated Parties – SIGMA will continue to oppose efforts to move the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to the position holder. SIGMA applauded EPA’s recent announcement that the proper placement for the point of obligation is where it currently resides and its proposal to deny petitions to move it.

2017 Renewable Volume Obligation — SIGMA supports EPA’s decision to exercise its waiver authority to adjust future volume obligations to avoid hitting the blend wall.

Biodiesel Tax Credit — SIGMA believes Congress should extend the biodiesel tax credit in its current form and should reject any changes to make the credit a producers’ credit.

These are only a few of the issues we’ll be keeping a close eye on. In the meantime, we hope to see you all at the SIGMA Spring Conference, May 8-10 in Miami Beach.

Read more from the November Issue of our Fuel for Thought newsletter.