Lawmakers Demand Answers from EPA on Failed Implementation of Renewable Fuel Standard
Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide additional information regarding their failed implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In a letter led by Congressman Dave Loebsack and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, the members laid out a series of questions seeking information about the mismanagement of a program that provided waivers to some of our nation’s largest, most profitable refiners, but were intended to help support small refiners with demonstrated economic hardship and were in danger of going bankrupt. The group of 12 lawmakers is also seeking information about the EPA’s retroactive awarding of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS), which undermine the biofuels market. The lawmakers have made repeated requests for this information, which the EPA has refused to answer. A copy of the letter can be found here.
“We write to convey our grave concerns and request additional information regarding your failed implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. We are deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and continued manipulation of the RFS program through your misuse of the small refinery exemption process,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to hurt farmers and undermine the biofuels market by extending waivers to an unusually large number of refineries. Additionally, your implementation of the RFS program is undercutting the market for renewable fuels, and inflicting further economic pain in rural communities and throughout the agriculture sector.”
“We remain extremely concerned about your implementation of the RFS program and its effects on rural communities. Your actions are clearly designed to enrich the oil industry at the expense of farmers and the renewable fuels industry by undermining the RFS program. We request that you suspend the small refinery exemption process until you provide Congress with information to evaluate this program,” the lawmakers concluded.
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