With the scandal over the Environmental Protection Agency granting numerous small refinery hardship waivers growing, Growth Energy has sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt demanding a moratorium on waivers being issued.
“EPA appears to be operating under the cover of night in a secretive process where the agency acts as judge, jury, and executioner to effectively reduce the overall demand for biofuels in this country absent any public discourse,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, noting that EPA has not confirmed or denied news reports this week regarding waivers for one of the nation’s largest refiners.
The increasing number of waivers corresponds to a decrease in demand for both ethanol and corn, and undermines the entire Renewable Fuel Standard program. “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. That would amount to ten percent of the total Renewable Volume Obligations of 15 billion gallons for 2016.
In this interview, Skor also discusses the organization’s objections to the bankruptcy settlement with Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and – on the positive side – how EPA’s revisit of GHG emissions standards provides an opportunity for higher ethanol blends.Interview with Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor