EPA to Decide 2018 Refinery Waivers Soon

Refinery Waivers Decision 073119
Green Plains ethanol facility in Superior, Iowa ( Green Plains )

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says he expects to make decisions on small refiner exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard for the 2018 compliance year very soon.  That news coming as Wheeler toured a refinery in Pennsylvania Monday.

Some 40 requests were received for the 2018 compliance year with two being declared ineligible or withdrawn. That leaves 38 still pending.

The ethanol industry and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley are calling on EPA to reallocate those exempted biofuel gallons.

"I think that they're violating the law by giving waivers to small refineries that are not in financial trouble," says Grassley. "This provision was put into the law in 2005 because there might be some small refineries that it is a burden for them to mix biofuels with petroleum products, but it's just being abused now."

Grassley says he thinks Wheeler, unlike former EPA head Scott Pruitt, is trying to help but he's calling on the president to step in. Grassley says ultimately it doesn't mean there won't be any waivers but he thinks they need to be more responsibly allocated.