Senators urge EPA to reverse small refinery biofuel targets

small refinery – small refinery


Oklahoma U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe were among 15 Republican Senators who recently wrote the EPA urging it to reconsider its plan to deny all 65 small refinery exemption petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard program.

Led by West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capitol, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Senators argued the EPA proposal is in contradiction of congressional intent under the Clean Air Act.

The letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan urged him to consider the agency’s proposed blanket denial of small refinery exemptions (SRE) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

Some Oklahoma refineries are among those that sought exemptions in the past. In December, the EPA proposed retroactively reducing the biofuel blending requirements of 2020 but also called to increase them for 2022. The agency also wants to deny pending refinery exemption requests of the EPA.

“We are puzzled by the action EPA took in these proposals, including the unprecedented and drastic step to propose a blanket denial of all 65 outstanding small refinery hardship petitions at a time of increasing gasoline prices and several small refinery closures around the nation,” the senators wrote. “The current proposal neglects not only its own economic impacts, but negates the intent of Congress in deliberately amending the Clean Air Act to allow for exemptions for small refiners that suffer disproportionate economic hardship from compliance with the RFS.”

They also warned the move would lead to more litigation and increased uncertainty and higher costs on refiners and consumers through the proposed blending mandates for 2022.

It’s an argument United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America President Doug McCarron presented to Biden earlier this week, urging revision of the RFS proposal reported POLITICO.

Others who signed the letter were Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.),  Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).

Read the full letter here.

Sources: POLITICO & press release

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