July 23 2019
Contrary to assertions by the EPA, the Energy Department confirmed in a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that the EPA has issued so-called “economic hardship” exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to small refineries, often owned by billion-dollar oil companies, even when the Energy Department found that the refineries faced little or no actual “hardship.”
In a response to an April 10 letter from Grassley, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry outlined the role of the Energy Department in the issuance of these waivers and indicated EPA has on at least one occasion issued an exemption when the department recommended no exemption and has ignored recommendations to grant only partial exemptions in other cases. Perry also indicated that the department has not changed how these analyses are applied or scored from the prior administration. Full text of Perry’s letter to Grassley is available HERE.
The number of small refinery waivers issued by EPA has skyrocketed the last two years.
In his April letter, Grassley specifically sought clarity on whether the Energy Department had changed its criteria or methodology of how it makes recommendations to EPA for small refinery exemptions. He also requested information about how many instances EPA granted the exemptions without recommendation from the department.
“This confirms what we’ve suspected and has been reported by news media,” Grassley said. “President Trump delivered on E15, but EPA has been undermining the president’s commitment to Iowa, the Midwest and rural America. I hope the White House puts an end to these handouts to Big Oil that hurt American farmers.”
Grassley is a leader in the fight to maintain a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He led efforts to put pressure on the EPA to stop issuing “hardship waivers” to large, highly profitable oil companies as well as make the waiver process more transparent and highlight the importance of the RFS to President Trump and his administration.
Read the original press release: Energy Department Says EPA Issued RFS Exemptions Against DOE Advice