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VIDEO: Loebsack Questions EPA Administrator Pruitt’s Commitment to RFS

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Washington, April 26, 2018 | Joe Hand (202-225-6576) | comments
Congressman Dave Loebsack questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt today at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about reports that he has granted “hardship” waivers to numerous oil refiners, including one that made $1.5 billion in profits last year, when they are typically used to support small refiners that are facing economic hardship and are in danger of closing. At the hearing Loebsack pressed Pruitt to be transparent, fully accountable and to release all of the information on how many waivers have been granted and to whom they were granted. Additionally, under current law, any gallons that are waived are required to be obligated to other parties. Due to the lack of transparency, Pruitt was not able to state on the record whether these gallons have been properly reassigned as required by law.

Today, Loebsack also joined with his fellow co-chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus calling on Pruitt to cease all hardship waivers under the RFS until they are able to verify that the waivers will only be used for small refineries.

Video of Loebsack’s questions can be found here.

“Throughout Administrator Pruitt’s confirmation process, he stated that he would work to uphold the RFS. Additionally, President Trump has pledged to support the RFS time and time again. However, over the past several weeks new information has come out that makes me question this administration’s commitment. Various reports have indicated that the EPA has granted “economic hardship” exemptions to numerous refiners who are appear to be neither small nor financially distressed.

“I’ve heard directly from Iowans and farmers across the country who are extremely troubled by the EPA’s actions. This comes at a particularly troubling time as farm income is trending downwards and refining industry profits are soaring. I am extremely disappointed that the EPA issued these waivers as well as the unacceptable lack of transparency and accountability in this process. The granting of hardship waivers must cease until it has been verified that they are being used in a lawful manner.”
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