Friday, June 14, 2019
Grassley Joins RFS Bill to Increase Transparency in the Small Refinery Exemption Process
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) in introducing legislation that would ensure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) it sets each November.
“The key objective of the RFS is to ensure that the renewable fuel volume obligations are met. Giving away exemptions to billion dollar big oil companies undermines clear congressional intent. The EPA has allowed the law to be undermined for far too long,” Grassley said. “It shouldn’t take legislation to make EPA follow the law of the land, but for some at EPA, excuse-making seems to be a full-time job. This legislation ensures that EPA follows through on the responsibilities it should already be fulfilling.”
Measures in the RFS Integrity Act of 2019 include:
  • Requiring small refineries to petition for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) hardship exemptions by June 1 each year;
  • Ensuring that information disseminated to the EPA from a petitioner would be subject to public disclosure;
  • Requiring EPA to publish the following on its website:
    • Petitioner’s name;
    • Name and location of the facility for with relief was requested;
    • Why the relief was requested;
    • Time period for which relief was requested; and
    • The extent to which the EPA granted or denied the requested relief.
Grassley is a leader in the fight to maintain a strong RFS. He led efforts to put pressure on the EPA to stop issuing so-called “hardship exemptions” to obligated refiners as well as to make the exemption process more transparent and highlight the importance of the RFS to President Donald Trump and his administration.
Last month, Reuters quoted a former EPA official as saying that the EPA under former Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to issue waivers not based on requirements under law or by court directives, but based on policy decisions.