A bipartisan group of 15 senators is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take immediate action to end the abuse of small refinery exemptions and restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Jane Nishida, the senators asked the agency to review three small refinery waivers issued by the previous administration just hours before the inauguration of President Joe Biden. “If these waivers do not meet the three-part test laid out in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals then we urge you to immediately reverse them and deny the refiners’ waiver requests,” the senators wrote.
The letter also urges EPA to implement, on a nationwide basis, the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision limiting small refinery exemptions. “Because the Tenth Circuit decision is the most definitive legal pronouncement to date regarding EPA’s small refinery waiver authority, we encourage the Agency to adhere to that decision for the purposes of deciding all pending exemption petitions during the pendency of the Supreme Court’s review of the decision,” according to the letter. Finally, the letter encourages EPA to swiftly issue the proposed 2021 renewable volume obligations and move forward with a recent E15 streamlining proposal.
“We thank this bipartisan group of renewable fuel supporters for their determined efforts to put the RFS back on track and expand the market for ethanol,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We agree with the senators that EPA must adhere to recent court decisions regarding the RFS and stay within its statutory authority. When properly implemented, the RFS is an incredibly powerful tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, slashing harmful tailpipe pollution, enhancing national energy security, and supporting the rural economy.”
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) led the letter, which was also signed by Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Thune (R-SD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roger Marshall (D-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).