NFU Urges Greater Transparency in EPA’s Granting of Small Refinery Exemptions
WASHINGTON – In light of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing misappropriation of small refinery exemptions (SREs), the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change within the Committee on Energy and Commerce today hosted a hearing on how those exemptions have undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the American biofuels industry.
Under the RFS, 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 2.4 billion gallons of biodiesel are required to be blended into transportation fuel. However, EPA has waived that requirement for 85 oil refineries over the past three years, a rate quadruple that of the previous administration. As a result, the amount of corn ethanol and biodiesel in the transportation sector during that time has been under the benchmark, amounting to a cumulative 4-billion-gallon decline in demand. Nearly 30 ethanol and biodiesel plants have consequently halted production.
In addition to soliciting feedback on the waivers’ implications, the subcommittee is also considering H.R. 3006, a bill that would set an annual deadline of June 1 for small refineries to petition for an exemption from the upcoming year’s volume requirements as well as require public disclosure of any information included in those petitions.
National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew submitted written testimony to the subcommittee, emphasizing the damage inflicted by the waivers and urging them to support H.R. 3006.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.