WASHINGTON – Ethanol industry advocate Growth Energy issued a statement in support of a new U.S. House bill aimed at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) small refinery exemption (SRE) process and biofuel blending.
On May 23, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, along with Reps. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.; Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; Rodney Davis, R-Ill.; and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019, which proponents say would bring much-needed transparency to EPA’s SRE process and ensure refiners meet their biofuel blending requirements.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued a statement in support of the legislation.
“The real economic hardship is happening in our nation’s farm belt, and not among its largest refiners,” said Skor. “In 2018, Big Oil saw record profits, while in America’s heartland, quarterly farm income has dropped $11.8 billion since December and ethanol consumption fell for the first time in 20 years – contributing to the steepest drop in farm income since 2016.”
Skor said the rapid escalation of small refinery exemptions compounds these factors and makes an already-bleak economic environment even worse.
“We applaud Reps. Collin Peterson, Dusty Johnson, Dave Loebsack, and Rodney Davis for their steadfast commitment to supporting a fair and open process for small refinery exemptions,” she said. “There is an urgent need to address the lack of transparency over small refinery exemptions and reallocate the 2.6 billion lost gallons of biofuels demand as a result of these continued handouts to oil refineries.”
Skor pointed out that refiners have no deadline when submitting a request for a small refinery exemption, which allows what she called a secretive, backdoor way to avoid their legal obligations. The Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 sets the deadline for refineries to submit an application for an SRE by June 1, as well as requiring EPA to re-allocate exempted gallons so that biofuel targets are met in earnest.
The legislation would also prevent refineries from claiming submitted info as confidential business information, allowing the public greater insight into who is receiving the waivers and why.
Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol. For more information visit GrowthEnergy.org.