WASHINGTON, D.C. – AFPM president & CEO Chet Thompson issued the following statement in response to EPA’s announcement this morning that it will reject all small refinery “gap year” requests for relief from Renewable Fuel Standard regulatory obligations and fast-track regulations to encourage the sale of more E15 gasoline. The law says small refineries may petition for economic relief from RFS compliance costs “at any time.” In the wake of the 10th Circuit ruling which contrived the pre-requisite that small refineries must maintain continuous receipt of RFS exemptions to be eligible, “gap year” waivers were sought by some facilities:
The notion that this Administration is “following the rule of law” through its latest betrayal of U.S. refinery workers is laughable. We hope the President and Administrator Wheeler feel a sense of responsibility when RFS compliance costs become even more untenable for refineries of all sizes. The legacy of this Administration’s handling of RFS will be fewer union refining jobs, facility closures, reduced U.S. refining capacity, and increased imports of foreign biodiesel.
Telling ethanol interests everything they want to hear in a press release is not going to increase the amount of ethanol that gasoline can absorb or do anything to help farmers and ethanol producers. EPA knows this. And now they need to answer how they plan to correct the 2020 RFS volumes artificially inflated because of small refinery exemptions that will no longer be granted and how they will protect consumers and U.S. energy security by ensuring 2021 standards are achievable.
Where E15 is concerned, this Administration does not have authority to edit Congress and grant environmental waivers to fuels not expressly allowed in statute. But they are doubling down and choosing to undermine critical consumer and environmental protections at the pump in an attempt to encourage more ethanol sales. Millions of consumers, boaters, motorcyclists, and environmental groups vehemently oppose this and stand to be hurt by the illegal action.