The Renewable Fuels Association wasted no time in taking action to stop the last minute small refinery exemptions granted Tuesday by the outgoing Trump Administration Environmental Protection Agency. RFA filed a petition for review and an emergency motion to stay the effectiveness of the waivers, which the organization says will “inflict substantial, immediate, and irreversible harm” to the U.S. ethanol industry.
According to RFA’s emergency motion, which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, just hours after EPA publicly disclosed the new waivers, “This would be devastating to America’s ethanol producers, many of which are already on the brink of closure due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Data released by EPA Tuesday evening show that the two 2019 compliance exemptions reduced that year’s RFS standards by 150 million gallons, while one 2018 exemption erased 110 million gallons of renewable fuel requirements. The total eliminated volume of 260 million gallons is equivalent to shutting down three or four ethanol plants for a full year, or akin to erasing the total statewide annual ethanol consumption from Maryland, Massachusetts or South Carolina.
Troy Bredenkamp just started as RFA’s new Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs this week and he explains the organization’s reaction to the last minute waivers here:
Interview with Troy Bredenkamp, RFA (4:16)