ACE responds to EPA providing a large refiner a “small refiner” RFS waiver
Posted on 04/04/2018
Sioux Falls, SD (April 3, 2018) –The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement in light of recent reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exempted Andeavor, one of the nation's largest oil refining companies, from complying with its 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending obligation at three of its 10 refineries:
“The law allows a small refiner (producing less than 75,000 barrels per day) to seek an exemption from the annual blending obligation if it can prove the RFS is causing ‘disproportionate economic hardship’ on its operations. On what planet does Andeavor’s 2017 net profit of $1.5 billion constitute ‘disproportionate economic hardship’ for a “small refiner”? Refiners are reporting billion-dollar profits today while farmers are facing their fifth year of prices at or below the cost of production. Net farm income is dropping to levels not seen since the last economic disaster in rural America in the early 2000s which prompted Congress to enact the RFS in the first place. EPA’s recent waivers reduce demand for ethanol making economic conditions worse in rural America and breaking promises President Trump has made to protect the RFS.
“Since EPA refuses to disclose which refiners get these RFS exemptions, it blurs the transparency of the RIN market giving an advantage to refiners receiving waivers. With nearly 30 small refiner exemptions pending, it appears EPA’s priority is not to fix the outdated Reid vapor pressure restriction on the year-round use of E15 but rather to unravel the RFS for refiners.
“When the Obama Administration unlawfully took the RFS off-track, we were forced to sue. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Americans for Clean Energy et al. v. EPA, the “intent of the RFS’s increasing requirements are designed to force the market to create ways to produce and use greater and greater volumes of renewable fuel each year.” Waiving RFS obligations based on ethanol use thresholds violates the intent of the RFS and invites litigation.”