Tag Archives: rfs

WASHINGTON- Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and the co-chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 which establishes an annual June 1st deadline for refineries to submit small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions from their RFS blending obligations each year and increases transparency in the process.

“It is clear to me that EPA is abusing its authority by recklessly handing out small refinery waivers and refusing to account for them,” said Peterson. “This is hurting farmers and agriculture communities at the worst time. This bill ends the gamesmanship in the waiver process and increases transparency along the way.”

“The EPA has let oil refiners off the hook by circumventing congressional intent, putting ethanol producers at a disadvantage,” said Johnson. “The Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act makes sure that moving forward, the EPA’s waiver process will be fair, timely, and transparent.”

 

Since 2018, EPA granted 54 waivers to refineries for the 2016 and 2017 RFS compliance years totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons being taken out of the market place. By law, the RFS requires that the EPA make adjustments when determining future biofuels targets to account for waivers to ensure that the overall biofuels targets are not reduced by waivers. However, the agency is not accounting for these waivers and the demand for biofuels is being undercut.

By setting a June 1st petition submission deadline each year, the EPA will have time to account for renewable fuel gallons stripped from the market due to these waivers. The bill also increases transparency in the process by making information with respect to a petition subject to public disclosure.

The bill is supported by Growth Energy, Fuels America, National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, National Biodiesel Board, MN Corn Growers Association and MN BioFuels Association.

“Minnesota’s corn farmers greatly appreciate the work of Congressman Collin Peterson to bring much-needed transparency and a formal timeline to the EPA’s small refinery exemption process. Our state’s ethanol industry is a vital market for its 24,000 corn farmers, who continue to be impacted by exemptions taking billions of ethanol gallons from the nation’s fuel supply. This bill would make it possible to recoup future lost gallons while identifying what refineries are qualifying for an exemption.”-Brian Thalmann, President, Minnesota Corn Growers Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) led a bipartisan group of 35 colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program. In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Members highlighted that the expansion of biofuel waivers hurts farmers who rely on demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels and has increased our dependence on foreign oil.

“Our farmers and rural communities rely on a thriving biofuels’ market to support their families and create good-paying jobs. Increasing Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) waivers not only threatens our energy security, but stifles competition in an industry that is an economic driver and job creator across Iowa and the Midwest,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to meet our RFS goals and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

“Waiving the Renewable Fuels Standard impedes the biofuels’ market and limits consumers’ options at the pump,” Rep. Smith said. “I look forward to working with the Administration to keep our commitments to the biofuels’ industry, which in turn will help foster the development of greater American energy independence.”

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires a specific, set volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum based fuels. Under the RFS program, a small refinery can be granted a temporary exemption from RFS requirements if compliance would prevent them from being profitable. However, the EPA has recently loosened the requirements for SREs, enabling refineries owned by major oil companies to receive these waivers. Not only have these waivers reduced the United States’ ability to meet our RFS goals, but it decreases the demand for Midwestern corn and bio products and hurts our farmers.

In addition to Rep. Axne and Adrian Smith, David Scott (D-GA-13), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS-1), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), Steve King (R-IA-4), David Loebsack (D-IA-2), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Abby Finkenauer (D-IA-1), Don Bacon (R-NE-2), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Angie Craig (D-MN-2), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-5), Mark Pocan (D-WI-2), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-7), Michael R. Turner (R-OH-10), Steve Watkins (R-KS-2), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-3), Mike Bost (R-IL-12), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), James R. Baird (R-IN-4).