Former Senators Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and James Talent of Missouri both played major roles in the legislation that established the current Renewable Fuels Standard. This week, the two say Congress should investigate the waivers to the RFS granted to more than two-dozen refineries by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
In a statement released by the National Biodiesel Board, both men say, “Lawmakers from across the heartland have already demanded the EPA stop abusing these waivers, but Congress needs to do more. The public deserves real answers from Administrator Pruitt about handouts granted under the cover of night.”
The waiver provision established by Congress provided some flexibility in dealing with the smallest refining companies who produced fewer than 75,000 barrels a day. It was designed for unique cases that presented disproportionate economic hardship. “But the EPA has warped those provisions to grant tens of millions of dollars in regulatory handouts at the expense of farmers, biofuel workers, and American consumers,” says Dorgan and Talent.
“Granting secretive ‘hardship’ waivers to some of the nation’s most profitable petroleum giants undermines the law and destroys demand for homegrown biofuels,” says Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs.