RFA FOIA request demands answers on EPA small refiner bailout

By Renewable Fuels Association | April 05, 2018

The Renewable Fuels Association today submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy in pursuit of more information and transparency regarding the recent issuance of Renewable Fuel Standard compliance exemptions to dozens of oil refineries.

The FOIA request follows a January letter to EPA in which RFA asked for data and documents regarding small refiner exemptions and called for more openness and transparency in the Agency’s process to consider exemption requests. EPA never responded to the January letter.

“Several media reports over the past week have confirmed the fears we voiced in January about EPA’s expansive and abusive administration of the small refiner exemption provision,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “One article even quoted a refining executive as saying EPA is ‘…handing out those exemptions is like trick or treat candy.’ EPA’s unbelievable issuance of secret compliance bailouts to refining giants like Andeavor goes far beyond the pale and stomps all over President Trump’s commitment to protect the RFS and support America’s family farmers, whom he called ‘the backbone of our nation.’ Combined with the free pass EPA handed out this week to Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the Agency’s refusal to enforce the 2016 RFS requirements as remanded by the courts, these subversive actions are literally destroying demand for both ethanol and corn.”

“EPA’s secretive actions are having real impacts on the marketplace. Every new revelation about EPA’s latest handout or kickback to refiners serves as yet another gut punch to markets that are already reeling from the impacts of new Chinese tariffs. Make no mistake, EPA’s underhanded refinery waivers are negatively affecting the welfare of our nation’s ethanol producers and the very livelihood of America’s family farms. At the very least, they deserve some answers about EPA’s cloak-and-dagger decision-making process on small refiner exemption petitions.”