With prices for gasoline skyrocketing, the Biden administration has denied 69 requests from small oil refiners for permission to make less expensive blends of gasoline.
“On June 3, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to deny 69 small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions through the ‘June 2022 Denial of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemptions,’” three Republican U.S. senators wrote in a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General.
Without the waivers refiners are forced to refine gasoline blended with ethanol, which is more expensive than conventional gasoline. The vast amounts of corn and farmland involved in meeting federal “renewable fuel standards,” or “RFS,” also contribute to rising food prices.
The senators, Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) are seeking a determination whether the denial must be submitted to Congress for review under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
“Last month in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Hagerty criticized EPA Administrator Michael Regan for EPA’s denial of all small refinery exemptions and called out the agency for forging ahead with regulatory actions that will further increase fuel prices for consumers who are already facing record-high gas prices,” Hagerty’s office announced in a press release.
The EPA expensive fuel mandate could further hurt consumers by threatening the existence of oil refiners – a stated goal of many Democrats.
“Unachievable mandates will needlessly raise fuel production costs and further threaten the viability of U.S. small refineries, both at the expense of consumers,” says Chet Thompson, CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.
“Washington has gotten so desensitized to soaring RFS prices that policymakers are not paying attention to the very real impacts on U.S. refineries of all sizes and the thousands of men and women—many of whom are unionized workers—employed at these facilities. RFS costs are putting critical U.S. petroleum refining capacity at risk when we can’t afford to lose any more,” says Thompson.
“The Administration missed a prime opportunity to provide relief and will have no one to blame for this but themselves,” says Thompson.
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