In a letter sent today to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Renewable Fuels Association noted several misstatements in testimony offered recently to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and provided background information to help the Agency better understand the real impacts of small refinery exemptions (SREs).
Today’s note follows a letter sent to EPA in August after the Agency asserted there was “zero evidence” that SREs are negatively impacting ethanol producers.
“In light of our August letter and the further deterioration of ethanol market conditions that has subsequently occurred, we were disappointed to hear you repeat similar claims about the impact of SREs on ethanol producers during your testimony,” wrote RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper in the letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Several statements made during the hearing about ethanol supply and demand are inconsistent with government data and market intelligence. I write today to challenge several of your statements and provide additional information regarding the very real impact of SREs on the ethanol industry.”
Specifically, RFA questioned the accuracy of EPA statements regarding recent trends in ethanol production and use. Specifically, Administrator Wheeler told the Committee that ethanol production and consumption is on the rise, when data from the Department of Energy and EPA itself indicate otherwise.
“We encourage you and your staff to more carefully and more thoroughly analyze the actual marketplace implications of retroactive SREs,” Cooper concluded. “EPA statements suggesting there has been no negative economic impact from SREs are an insult to the thousands of biofuel industry workers and farmers who are experiencing very real pain today because of EPA decisions.”