WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) in pushing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, to reconsider two proposed actions that would hurt small Louisiana refineries and raise gasoline prices for Louisiana consumers.
The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil, and jet fuel to contain a specific amount of renewable fuel. The EPA determines this renewable volume obligation (RVO) each year. Small refineries can benefit from temporary exemptions from the RVO if they can demonstrate that compliance with the RVO would cause them disproportionate economic hardship.
The EPA has proposed increasing the 2022 RVO to unprecedented levels and denying the 65 pending exemptions for small refineries without providing a reason.
“We are perplexed by the action the EPA has taken in these proposals, including the unprecedented and drastic step of proposing a blanket denial of all 65 outstanding petitions regarding small refinery hardships at a time when rising gasoline prices and several small refinery closures across the country.The current proposal not only overlooks its own economic impacts, but negates Congress’s intention to deliberately amend the Clean Air Act to allow exemptions for small refiners who suffer disproportionate economic hardship as a result of RFS compliance,” wrote the senators.
“In that spirit, we urge the EPA to reconsider this effort to dismiss the 65 outstanding petitions for small refineries and the proposal to set the RVO at all-time highs for 2022. Reconsidering these actions will provide relief and much-needed certainty to businesses, employees, and communities across the country; increase access to affordable domestically produced fuels for US consumers; and removing barriers for an economy already facing significant challenges from inflation and other supply chain challenges,” concluded the senators.
Sense. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pa. ), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) also signed the letter.
The letter is available here.