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Agricultural, biofuels industry’s call for greater transparency into SREs

Cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. Photo courtesy of DuPont.

U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY 20th District), chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, believes “the Trump Administration is undermining market signals and certainty, which ultimately hurts rural communities.” He calls for increased certainty and enhanced transparency to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

AUDIO: Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Siouxland Energy Cooperative

Biofuels representatives testified ahead of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change Tuesday at a hearing on “Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers.”

Tuesday’s hearing incorporated multiple objectives, including a legislative hearing on H.R. 3006, Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 and oversight on small refinery exemptions (SREs) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental proposed rule on required production of certain renewable fuels.

Kelly Nieuwenhuis, president of Siouxland Energy Cooperative, says regulatory attempts made by the Environmental Protection Agency gives agricultural and biofuels industry’s little hope for receiving much needed relief. However, H.R. 3006 looks to provide greater transparency into such processes.

“This bill would address the EPA’s dismal record on SRE transparencies. We have no idea on the specifics used by the DOE, or EPA in making SRE decisions,” Nieuwenhuis said. “This bill takes care of these basic transparency concerns by setting a reasonable deadline for SRE applications and giving the public greater insight on this murky process.’

If passed, H.R. 3006 would require small refineries to submit petitions for exemptions from the renewable fuel requirements to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by June 1 of the year ahead of when such requirements would otherwise be in effect. The bill would also require public disclosure of information included in exemption petitions.