Today, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Collin Peterson (D-MN), along with Reps. Dusty Johnson (SD-At Large), Dave Loebsack (IA-04), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Roger Marshall (KS-01), introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019, legislation that would bring much-needed transparency to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) secretive small refinery exemption (SRE) process and ensure refiners meet their biofuel blending requirements. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor gave the following statement in support of the legislation:
“The real economic hardship is happening in our nation’s farm belt, and not among its largest refiners,” said Skor. “In 2018, Big Oil saw record profits, while in America’s heartland, quarterly farm income has dropped $11.8 billion since December and ethanol consumption fell for the first time in 20 years – contributing to the steepest drop in farm income since 2016. The rapid escalation of small refinery exemptions compounds these factors, and makes an already-bleak economic environment even worse.
“We applaud Reps. Collin Peterson, Dusty Johnson, Dave Loebsack, and Rodney Davis for their steadfast commitment to supporting a fair and open process for small refinery exemptions. There is an urgent need to address the lack of transparency over small refinery exemptions, and reallocate the 2.6 billion lost gallons of biofuels demand as a result of these continued handouts to oil refineries.”
Currently, refiners have no deadline when submitting a request for a small refinery exemption, which allows them a secretive, backdoor way to avoid their legal obligations. The bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 sets the deadline for refineries to submit an application for an SRE by June 1st, as well as requires EPA to re-allocate exempted gallons so that biofuel targets are met in earnest. Additionally, the legislation prevents refineries from claiming submitted info as confidential business information, allowing the public greater insight into who is receiving these waivers and why.