House to hold hearing on EPA’s mismanagement of the RFS

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2019

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change has announced plans to hold a legislative hearing on Oct. 29 focused on the U.S. EPA’s mismanagement of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The hearing, entitled “Protecting the RFS; The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers,” will examine H.R. 3006, the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019.

The bill was introduced on May 23 by Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. It aims to increase transparency surrounding RFS small refinery exemptions (SREs) and ensure any waived volumes are reallocated. The legislation would require key information surrounding SREs to be publicly disclosed. It would also set a deadline for refineries to submit SRE applications and ensure that the U.S. EPA reallocates waived volumes to non-exempt obligated parties.

To date, 34 additional representatives have signed on to support the bill, including Reps. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Rodney Davis, R-Ill.; David Loebsack, D-Iowa; Cynthia Axne, D-Iowa; Steve King, R-Iowa; Adrian Smith, R-Neb.; Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; Steve Watkins, R-Kan.; Mike Bost, R-Ill.; Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Darin LaHood, R-Ill.’ Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Ron Kind, D-Wisc.’ Sam Graves, R-Mo.; Don Bacon, R-Neb.; Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.; Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Paul Mitchell, R-Mich.; w. Gregory Steube, R-Fla.; Denver Riggleman, R-Va.; David Scott, D-Ga.; John Moolenaar, R-Mich.; Lauren Underwood, D-Ill.; Betty McCollum, D-Minn.; Cleaver, Emanuel, D-Mo.; James Comer, R-Ky.’ Michael Turner, R-Ohio; Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.; and Sean Casten, D-Ill.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard program was implemented to diversify the transportation fuel market, strengthen energy security, reduce air pollution and combat climate change by ensuring the United States uses more renewable fuel with each passing year.  However, the Trump Administration’s abuse of EPA’s waiver authority is undermining the RFS program and devastating the renewable fuel industry,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. “We look forward to examining legislative solutions to ensure better transparency and adherence to the goals Congress established for this program.”

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 29. Additional information, including the committee memorandum, legislation, witness list, testimony and live webcast will be posted to the committee website as they become available.