A collection of the nation’s biofuel producers are calling on President Donald Trump to reject a collection of Small Refinery Exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard currently under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In a letter to Trump on Tuesday, a group of ethanol plants and other biofuel stakeholders say approving SRE waivers dating back to 2011 would be devastating for the ethanol industry.
“We’ve seen too many plants shut down, too many jobs lost, and too many farmers deprived of vital markets,” the letter reads. “That is why we are asking you to stand strong in defense of the RFS, call on EPA to reject so-called ‘gap-year’ refinery exemptions, and immediately apply the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling on the program nationwide.”
Refineries began pushing for gap-year SREs after the 10th Circuit ruled the waivers must be offered continuously and without interruption. Biofuel stakeholders have been outraged and questioned the legal merit of offering relief years after an RFS compliance year. For his part, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has also said the process for providing the waivers is legally complicated.
The biofuel community has frequently taken its message to Wheeler and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, but in a direct appeal to the president, they say the waivers have “undermined any potential gains” from other efforts such as the year-round sale of E15.
“Now more than ever, we need you to put your foot down and demand your EPA send a clear signal to struggling rural communities that the demand destruction is over,” they say.
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