Hold the EPA accountable

Farmers throughout the heartland have grown frustrated over the handling of biofuels policy by EPA’s administrator Andrew Wheeler. In particular, the EPA’s granting Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE’s) to dozens of oil refineries, has destroyed hundreds of millions of gallons of homegrown renewable fuel demand in the process.

There was reason for optimism when the administration promised to restore biofuel demand under the RFS. But the EPA’s final rule, issued in December, accounted for only about half of the lost gallons, and left the door wide open for new exemptions.

Furthermore, at least 21 refineries have already requested to ignore renewable fuel obligations accumulated over 2019. The EPA must reject those petitions immediately. Each of these outstanding requests simply increases uncertainty for rural families and communities.

I am not alone in urging Senator Ernst, and all of our congressional leaders, to continue holding the EPA accountable. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit just overturned three refinery exemptions, declaring that the EPA “abused its discretion.” I hope this court ruling sends a clear signal to Administrator Wheeler that the EPA must follow the letter of the law and fully uphold the integrity of the RFS.

Mark Jackson, Rose Hill

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