RFS waivers by Trump’s EPA push World Energy to close 3 plants

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019

World Energy, one of the largest and longest-serving low-carbon fuel suppliers in North America, announced Aug. 16 that due to the Aug. 9 decision by the U.S. EPA to grant 31 small refinery waivers from the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard to oil companies, the company will immediately cease production and furlough employees at its Rome, Georgia, Natchez, Mississippi, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, facilities. World Energy will maintain essential staffing at these facilities to support maintenance and safety operations to keep the plants in a warm shutdown mode pending improved market conditions.

The closures will impact more than 100 workers across the three locations and will also impact farmers, suppliers, distributors and other workers in related industries and communities. Operations will continue as normal at World Energy’s refineries in Hamilton, Ontario; Houston, Texas; and Paramount, California; and at its offices in Boston, Massachusetts; and Burlington, Ontario.

Virtually every petroleum company in the country has complied with the RFS since the program started in 2005. The granting of waivers, which are tied to economic hardship, have been increased by more than five-fold in the past two years. This fall, at least three policy issues will be addressed that will impact the future operations of the facilities in Georgia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, as well as many other manufacturing plants throughout the low-carbon fuels industry. These issues include:

-The EPA will set final rules establishing how much advanced biofuel will be required to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply in 2020 and whether to allocate the burden of noncompliance authorized by its waivers to compliant renewable fuel producers or compliant refiners.

-The District Court in Washington, D.C., will hear cases being brought by litigants against the EPA for its dramatically expanded use of small refinery waivers.

-Congress will decide whether to extend long-pending tax policy support for biodiesel blending.

World Energy is one of the largest and longest-serving advanced biofuel suppliers in North America. Founded in 1998, the company operates biodiesel manufacturing plants in Houston, Texas; Natchez, Mississippi; Rome, Georgia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Hamilton, Ontario; a renewable diesel/renewable jet fuel refinery in Paramount, California; and distribution hubs throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.worldenergy.net.