WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of governors from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming have petitioned EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to exercise his agency’s general waiver authority to waive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance burdens for the year 2020 due to the experience of severe economic hardship throughout the refining industry and nationally amid COVID-19. AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson issued the following statement on the governors’ letters (available here and here) and the need for economic relief in this critical moment:
“For many U.S. refineries, RFS compliance has been one of their top annual operating costs — even higher than employee payroll. This is an indefensible burden, especially now as COVID-19 has upended the market for gasoline and refined products and the refining industry nationally is running at low enough capacity that facilities are being forced to idle.
“Governors recognize the threat the RFS poses to the health of America’s refining sector and momentum is building in the states to push back. AFPM is supportive of these governors’ efforts to stand up for the women and men in our industry who are keeping America’s refineries online. We urge Administrator Wheeler to listen to them. Refineries are critical national security assets and cannot afford the unachievable RFS on top of COVID-19.”
To grant general waivers on account of severe economic hardship EPA must review the condition of the U.S. refining sector, which is classed by the Department of Homeland Security as a critical industry with national security assets essential to the COVID-19 response. EPA must then determine whether the costs to comply with the 2020 RFS RVOs would severely harm the economies of states, regions, or the country in the current environment.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is the leading trade association representing U.S. fuel refiners and petrochemical producers — the industries that produce the fuels and petrochemicals that keep Americans moving and comprise the essential building blocks for modern life.