U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, is calling for a federal investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) expansion of refinery exemptions from blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Rep. Axne chose Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) to hold a press conference yesterday, the same site where President Donald Trump triumphantly announced the end of summer restrictions on E15 in June.
In a letter sent today to Charles J. Sheehan, Acting Inspector General (IG) of the EPA, Rep. Axne requested that the IG conduct an investigation into the highly questionable decision-making and misuse of the EPA’s “small refinery exemption” (SRE) authority to benefit large or unqualified companies that may be exerting an undue amount of influence over the regulatory process.
“I have serious concerns that the EPA continues to ignore the boundaries of its authority under the law in its administration of this waiver authority. Relying on the veil of secrecy provided by claims of confidential business information conceals the EPA’s highly questionable decision-making and misuse of its authority to benefit a small group of companies that may be exerting an undue amount of influence over the regulatory process,” wrote Congresswoman Axne.
In addition to Rep. Axne, Mike Jerke, CEO and President of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, and others spoke at the press conference about how the these biofuel exemptions are hurting Iowa farmers and rural communities.
Listen to Rep. Axne’s announcement and remarks from Mike Jerke.
Rep. Axne press conference
Listen to an interview with Mike Jerke at ACE Conference last week.
ACE Conference interview with Mike Jerke, SIRE