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RFA FOIA Request Demands Answers on EPA Small Refiner Bailout

April 5, 2018


WASHINGTON The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy in pursuit of more information and transparency regarding the recent issuance of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance exemptions to dozens of oil refineries. The FOIA request follows a January letter to EPA in which RFA asked for data and documents regarding small refiner exemptions and called for more openness and transparency in the Agencys process to consider exemption requests. EPA never responded to the January letter. Several media reports over the past week have confirmed the fears we voiced in January about EPAs expansive and abusive administration of the small refiner exemption provision, said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. One article even quoted a refining executive as saying EPA is handing out those exemptions like trick or treat candy. EPAs unbelievable issuance of secret compliance bailouts to refining giants like Andeavor goes far beyond the pale and stomps all over President Trumps commitment to protect the RFS and support Americas family farmers, whom he called the backbone of our nation. Combined with the free pass EPA handed out this week to Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the Agencys refusal to enforce the 2016 RFS requirements as remanded by the courts, these subversive actions are literally destroying demand for both ethanol and corn. EPAs secretive actions are having real impacts on the marketplace. Every new revelation about EPAs latest handout or kickback to refiners serves as yet another gut punch to markets that are already reeling from the impacts of new Chinese tariffs. Make no mistake, EPAs underhanded refinery waivers are negatively affecting the welfare of our nations ethanol producers and the very livelihood of Americas family farms. At the very least, they deserve some answers about EPAs cloak-and-dagger decision-making process on small refiner exemption petitions.