A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program.
Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) led 35 other representatives in a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, highlighting how the expansion of biofuel waivers hurts farmers who rely on demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels and has increased our dependence on foreign oil.
“Our farmers and rural communities rely on a thriving biofuels market to support their families and create good-paying jobs. Increasing Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) waivers not only threatens our energy security, but stifles competition in an industry that is an economic driver and job creator across Iowa and the Midwest,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to meet our RFS goals and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”“Waiving the Renewable Fuels Standard impedes the biofuels market and limits consumers’ options at the pump,” Rep. Smith said. “I look forward to working with the Administration to keep our commitments to the biofuels industry, which in turn will help foster the development of greater American energy independence.”
Ethanol industry representatives thanked the members for their support. “We strongly agree with this bi-partisan group that EPA must restore the renewable fuel blending requirements that were erased through these clandestine waivers. The refinery exemptions have had devastating impacts on our nation’s farm sector and renewable fuels industry, and the bailouts have resulted in American consumers paying more money at the pump for dirtier fuels,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Geoff Cooper.