The House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week introduced the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which contains provisions requiring more transparency and accountability in EPA’s process for evaluating small refinery exemption requests under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The provisions are based on the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act, introduced last year by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson.
“In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted dozens of small refinery exemptions, waiving billions of gallons of biofuel from RFS blending requirements,” said Rep. Peterson. “The provisions of my bill will require EPA to pull back the curtain and show the American people how they justify granting these waivers that have greatly impacted profitability for biofuels producers and farmers across the country.”
The provisions included in H.R. 4447, Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver. These provisions mirror the provisions of H.R. 3006, the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act, with adjustments to address business confidentiality concerns that were raised by members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
“This provision would finally pull back the curtain on EPA’s secretive and obscure small refinery waiver program, and we are pleased to see its inclusion in the House energy package,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “By setting a deadline for waiver petitions and requiring small refineries to publicly disclose their identities, this language brings badly needed transparency and structure to the program. This would prevent companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, HollyFrontier, and CVR from hiding behind phony claims of confidentiality and stop them from further gaming the system.”
The House is expected to consider H.R. 4447 the week of September 21st.