Cruz Says EPA’s Wheeler Promised to Continue Granting Small Refinery Waivers

Source: By Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer • Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says he won “explicit promises” from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to keep granting small refineries waivers from U.S. biofuel mandates, without retroactively reallocating those quotas to non-exempted facilities. Cruz says he secured those commitments after joining with other Republican senators to slow down Wheeler’s nomination to lead the EPA.

Cruz and other senators warned Wheeler last month their confirmation votes hinged on his commitment to lowering regulatory burden for oil refiners forced to use biofuels, prompting talks with agency officials on issue before the EPA chief’s confirmation.

Cruz says EPA committed not to “backtrack” on “vital regulatory relief” by refusing to grant small refinery exemptions; agency also said it would not retroactively reallocate previously exempted volumes.

“We’re going to hold the EPA and the administrator to those commitments,” Cruz said at the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers association meeting in San Antonio, Texas, according to Bloomberg. “Those were public commitments that were necessary for his confirmation, and we fully expect him to follow through.”