By Humeyra Pamuk and Chris Prentice

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted oil major Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N> a financial hardship waiver this year temporarily freeing its Montana refinery from U.S. biofuel laws, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Exxon, which reported earnings of almost $20 billion in 2017, became the largest known company to be awarded a such a waiver by the Trump administration’s EPA under a program meant to

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