The Environmental Protection Agency has 98 pending requests for so-called gap-year small-refinery exemptions.
According to the Renewable Fuel Standard dashboard, the EPA has received 98 total requests for years 2011-2020. The updated numbers come after President Donald Trump, while visiting Cedar Rapids last week, told Senator Joni Ernst that he would speak with the EPA himself regarding the RFS. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor tells the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network that she is fed up with small-refinery exemptions.
“This is utter lunacy what we’re talking about here,” Skor said. “Right now, the EPA has 98 pending exemption requests, and keep in mind that so far this EPA has handed out 81 exemptions. That’s four billion gallons of demand destructions, and we’re looking at nearly another 100.”
Similar to recent comments from the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Skor says she is disappointed with President Trump’s inability to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“When you have an administration and a president who has pledged that we will have a strong Renewable Fuel Standard because he understands that the ethanol industry is the economic engine of rural America, and then you are contemplating handing out waivers and exempting nearly 100 refiners from their blending obligations. It’s lunacy. We’ve had a lot of conversations making sure our champions are talking to the administration, as we are too.”
“I will say to your listeners,” Skor continued, “please make sure your elected officials understand how critical it is that EPA reject these applications. We’ve got to have a strong Renewable Fuel Standard so that we have a strong ethanol economy and a strong rural economy.”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler reportedly said during a recent visit to Wisconsin that he doesn’t know how long it will take to review the SRE requests.