Kennedy, Capito push back on EPA decisions that would hurt small refineries in Louisiana, raise gas prices

“We are puzzled by the action EPA took in these proposals, including the unprecedented and  drastic step to propose a blanket denial of all 65 outstanding small refinery hardship petitions  at a time of increasing gasoline prices and several small refinery closures around the nation.” 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)  in pushing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to reconsider  two proposed actions that would hurt small refineries in Louisiana and raise gas prices for  Louisiana consumers.  

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires petroleum-based transportation  fuel, heating oil and jet fuel to contain a specific amount of renewable fuel. The EPA annually  determines this Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO). Small refineries can receive temporary  exemptions from the RVO if they can show that compliance with the RVO would cause them disproportionate economic hardship.  

The EPA proposed to increase the 2022 RVO to unprecedented high levels and to deny all 65  pending small refinery exemptions without providing a cause.  

“We are puzzled by the action EPA took in these proposals, including the unprecedented  and drastic step to propose a blanket denial of all 65 outstanding small refinery  hardship petitions at a time of increasing gasoline prices and several small refinery  closures around the nation. The current proposal neglects not only its own economic  impacts, but negates the intent of Congress in deliberately amending the Clean Air Act to  allow for exemptions for small refiners that suffer disproportionate economic hardship  from compliance with the RFS,” the senators wrote. 

“With that in mind, we urge EPA to reconsider this effort to deny all 65 outstanding  small refinery petitions and the proposal to set the RVO at unprecedented levels for  2022. Reconsidering these actions will provide much-needed relief and certainty for companies, employees, and communities across the country; bolster access to  affordable, domestically-produced fuels for American consumers; and remove obstacles  for an economy already facing significant challenges from inflation and other supply  chain challenges,” the senators concluded.  

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Wicker (R Miss.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James  Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R Wyo.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) also signed the letter.  

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