EPA’s Wheeler: Response to RFS Proposal a “Knee Jerk” Reaction

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler this week downplayed criticism towards the EPA’s small refinery exemptions proposal. Wheeler told reporters, “I think a lot of people who had a knee jerk reaction” because the rule “wasn’t exactly what they were expecting,” according to Politico. Wheeler, along with President Donald Trump, this week reiterated that the proposal would get the Renewable Fuel Standard to the 15 billion gallons of ethanol, as per requirements of the law. President Trump claimed during a Cabinet meeting Monday the rule was “fully approved,” while Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue suggested agriculture was confused about the new rule. Perdue stated, “Once they fully understand what you’ve done here, they’ll be fine as they see it implemented.” The ethanol industry called the rule a “bait and switch” attempt to avoid fixing demand problems created by an excess of small refinery waivers issued by the Trump administration. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the proposal “will do nothing to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down.”