During the National Biodiesel Conference session on policy this week, panelists agreed that the worst thing the outgoing Environmental Protection Agency could do to hurt the biodiesel industry was to grant more small refinery exemptions. A few hours later, that is exactly what EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler did on his way out the door, granting two 2019 small refinery exemptions (SRE), and apparently reversing a 2018 petition that was initially denied. The three waivers amount to 260 million gallons of renewable fuel demand.
“It’s not so much the volumes, but it once again demonstrates the willingness of the outgoing administration to do whatever they wanted in terms of helping friends in the refinery industry,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik in an interview. “What I think he did was certainly unethical and probably illegal.”
Kovarik says they are pleased that the Renewable Fuels Association has already filed an injunction to prevent the waivers from happening and he hopes they are successful.
In this interview, Kovarik comments on last minute refinery waivers and working with the new Biden Administration.2021 Biodiesel Conference interview with Kurt Kovarik, NBB (6:24)