That’s not what we meant

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2022

Fifteen Republican senators, led by EPW ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), called on EPA to reconsider its proposal to deny all 65 pending small refinery exemption petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard program, arguing the proposal flies in the face of congressional intent under the Clean Air Act.

The agency proposed in December retroactively reducing 2020’s biofuel blending requirements but called for ramping them back up for 2022. The proposal also called for denying the pending refinery exemption requests before the agency and opened comment on its outlook on future waivers.

But the oil-state senators call it puzzling that EPA would consider the “drastic step” of denying the petitions at a time of “increasing gasoline prices and several small refinery closures around the nation.”

And they warned the agency’s proposal will ultimately “lead to more litigation and increased uncertainty under the RFS.” They add it will also raise costs on refiners and consumers through its proposed blending mandates for 2022 under the program, which they say will bake in elevated levels for years to come. It’s an argument United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America President Doug McCarron presented to Biden earlier this week, urging revision of the RFS proposal.

Comments on the small refinery exemption proposal are due Feb. 7. An EPA spokesperson said the agency “will review and respond to the letter.”