NATSO Objects to Proposed Refinery Bankruptcy Settlement

NATSO on March 26 sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice  outlining the truckstop industry's opposition to a proposed settlement agreement for the bankrupt refinery Philadelphia Energy Solutions. The proposed settlement would absolve the refinery of many of its RIN obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and represents in many ways the latest iteration of the years-long battle between merchant refiners that strongly oppose the RFS and other segments of the fuels supply chain that have adjusted their business models based on the RFS's incentives.
 
The bankruptcy settlement is being used by other merchant refiners, such as Valero and PBF Energy, to bolster their arguments to the Trump Administration that the RFS is flawed and needs to be fixed or repealed.  
 
NATSO argued in its letter to DOJ that the proposed settlement would reward a company that has thumbed its nose at the federal government's long-standing objectives for fuels policies in the United States, punish companies that have spent time and money seeking to help the government achieve those objectives, all the while incentivizing and providing a roadmap for other companies to similarly disregard their environmental obligations.  
 
The Trump Administration is continuing to examine various options to strike a "deal" between biofuels groups that strongly support the RFS and merchant refiners that oppose it.  NATSO has continuously urged the Administration to avoid striking a deal without Congressional input, as any deal reached solely by the Executive Branch would inevitably be litigated for years, resulting in continuing volatility and uncertainty.  President Trump is reportedly close to reaching a final decision as to how he'd like to proceed, but it is unclear at this time what that decision will be.
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David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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