Wheeler: Court Decision Could Change Small Refinery Program

Cindy Zimmerman 2 Comments

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the recent 10th Circuit Court decision regarding small refinery exemptions may have a significant impact on the program.

“That (court decision) has the potential to completely, of changing the small refinery program,” said Wheeler to reporters during a visit Friday to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) meeting in San Antonio. “We’re taking a close look at the 10th circuit decision and the ramifications to the program and we’ll have something out on that shortly.”

Specifically, Wheeler says the court found for three refineries that “they were ineligible for the program under the law” because according to the statute “you have to have received the small refinery exemption year after year.”

Listen to Wheeler’s exchange with reporter Spencer Chase of Agri-Pulse.
EPA Admin Wheeler comments on SRE court decision

That court decision will be a big topic of conversation at the National Ethanol Conference next week in Houston.

Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Comments 2

  1. Ethanol is the solution for many of the issues the EPA should be working to solve. Air quality and climate change are two areas where ethanol as a replacement to fossil fuel provides enormous benefits. Ethanol drives down carcinogenic exhaust from transportation. The U.S. corn crop, which is economically driven in large part by Ethanol Demand, filters more carbon from our atmosphere than the South American rain forest. These are proven facts. The fact that the EPA does not support the RFS and hold Big Oil accountable to the law shows the corruption that is in place from the very top. It certainly appears that money from Big Oil is paying off the decisions being made by the EPA. Meanwhile Americans are breathing cancer causing toxins, and the U.S. is not reducing climate change to the degree that we could. Ethanol is the most economic, cleanest burning, home grown, octane enhancing fuel on earth. If unleashed by the EPA the ethanol industry could tackle air quality, fuel mileage, and carbon intensity almost single handedly; all the while providing an economic boom for our nations GDP and the entire country. From South Dakota to New York, Minnesota to Oklahoma, state and local economies would boom. The U.S. farm crisis would single handedly be solved.

    1. As much as I agree with you and wish more citizens had your viewpoint regarding carbon emissions and big oil’s profit over people views. I also agree that the RFS program does not have the support it should, and renewable fuels should be a major topic in federal and state policies. But I would have to disagree that Ethanol, specifically corn ethanol, is the top renewable fuel we need to focus on. This is due to the fact that corn ethanol is basically a 1:1 ratio in regards to carbon emissions vs emissions offset. It takes just as much carbon to grow, harvest, and extract corn ethanol as it saves in fuel emissions. Renewable natural gas (methane) from agricultural and livestock waste through anaerobic digestion has a drastically lower carbon footprint than ethanol, and has the ability to replace transportation fuels such as diesel (trucking fleets) and also has the ability to replace the natural gas that is being fracked for electricity and heating use for homes and businesses. Ethanol was a good step in the right direction years ago, but we have to be a lot more aggressive towards renewable fuels based on where we are now.

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