08/24/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/24/2019 13:00
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the exemption of 31 refineries from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel-blending requirements. Yesterday, Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D., sent a bipartisan letter to the Government Accountability Office formally calling for an investigation into the granting of the Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) and issued the following statement:
'As Co-Chair of the House Biofuels Caucus, I have a firm commitment to the Kansas farmers, renewable fuel producers, and rural communities which rely on the biofuels industry. I've heard from many constituents and local communities about these exemptions, and I share their concerns about the negative impact they will have on our state,' Dr. Marshall said. 'Eight of Kansas' ten ethanol plants are in the Big First District, and combined produce more than 500 million gallons of renewable fuel using corn and sorghum. This move also hurts biogas production facilities, which qualify as a cellulosic renewable fuel. Exempting these 31 small refineries from their RFS obligations - especially if they do not reallocate the renewable fuel gallons to other obligated parties - will be devastating to communities across Kansas.'
'In defense of these farmers and rural communities, yesterday, I joined a number of my Congressional colleagues in writing to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, requesting they examine and review the EPA's approval of exemption waivers for these 31 refineries. We're also requesting a review of the Department of Energy's viability scores, a determination of the economic hardship on a small refinery's compliance with the RFS, which are considered by the EPA when making exemption determinations,' Dr. Marshall said. 'We need a comprehensive review of the EPA's process for determining refinery exemptions in order to provide transparency. The biofuels industry is vital to the economic health of rural communities in Kansas. We must, at the very least, understand how these exemption determinations were reached.'