Farm and biofuels groups are saying “enough is enough” as outrage grows over the Environmental Protection Agency granting numerous small refinery hardship waivers, combined with the approval of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions bankruptcy agreement absolving the oil refiner of the majority of its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn growers sent a letter to EPA this week demanding full transparency for small refiner exemption evaluations and an end to “backdoor reductions to the RFS.”
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests this week to both EPA and the Department of Energy to learn more about compliance exemptions granted to dozens of oil refineries. “We want to know how many (refineries) and how many gallons are impacted by these small refiner exemptions,” says RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “And more importantly, what these companies had to demonstrate in order to claim a unique hardship under this program.”
Dinneen commented on that and other issues surrounding the waiver scandal in this edition of The Ethanol Report: Ethanol Report on EPA Small Refinery Waivers
Growth Energy sent a letter to EPA this week demanding a moratorium on waivers being issued. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the increasing number of waivers corresponds to a decrease in demand for both ethanol and corn, and undermines the entire RFS. “You add on waiver after waiver, and the amount of applications being considered, you are looking at upwards of 1.5 billion gallons in cut ethanol demand, a reduction of 500 million bushels of corn demand,” said Skor.
The White House is reportedly holding another meeting on the issue Monday.