WASHINGTON DC (February 27, 2020) — Representative Dave Loebsack questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler about the recent 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found the EPA exceeded its authority in issuing small-refinery exemptions (SRE) to companies who had not received waivers in the prior year. The Court concluded that the EPA may only “extend” existing exemptions and cannot grant a new waiver to a company that had not consistently held one. During the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing, Rep Loebsack urged Administrator Wheeler to apply this decision to all refineries nationwide.
“As a longtime supporter of the RFS, I am continuing to look for ways to drive demand and expand markets for renewable fuels, thus providing an economic boost for rural communities. At the same time, this Administration’s misuse of the small refinery exemption has led to the loss of over 4 billion gallons of biofuel demand and forced multiple facilities to idle production or shut down operations completely. This is unacceptable,” said Rep Loebsack. “While the EPA has not made any final decisions regarding the 10th Circuit ruling, I strongly urge the EPA to accept the ruling and apply it nationally going forward.”
Rep Loebsack has been a longtime supporter of the RFS, ethanol, and the biofuels industry. He has been leading the way in the House to increase oversight and transparency of the Small Refinery Exemption that the Administration has used to undermine the RFS, hurting our farmers and rural communities, while propping up Big Oil. As co-chair of the House Biofuels Caucus, Rep Loebsack helped lead the opposition of the excessive use of the SRE, including this August when the President and EPA granted 31 new waivers. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep Loebsack secured an oversight hearing last fall examining the Trump Administration’s abuse of SREs and considering legislation he helped introduce, HR3006, the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act, which would help bring greater transparency to the use of SREs.