EPA Administrator on RFS Waivers

During a hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler was questioned by senators on both sides of the Renewable Fuel Standard regarding requests for waivers from both the petroleum industry and some oil state governors.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who spearheaded a letter to Wheeler from oil state senators, expressed his dissatisfaction with the 10th circuit court decision regarding small refinery waivers and pressured Wheeler to commit to giving any petitions for hardship relief for small refineries in prior years prompt consideration, and reconsider “petitions which it wrongfully denied” in prior years.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told Wheeler she is frustrated with claims by some in the petroleum sector to blame biofuels and argue “that the RFS is the cause of their recent business troubles, not the COVID-19 pandemic.” She stressed that the law requires any waiver to have “clear evidence that the source of economic pain is the RFS” and asked Wheeler to commit to looking at past precedence in determining economic harm.

Sen. Barrasso/Andrew Wheeler

Sen. Ernst/Andrew Wheeler