U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today introduced the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act of 2019 after the EPA continues to increase the number of small refineries exempted from the Renewable Fuel Standard. Davis’ bipartisan bill would require the EPA Administrator to use the average number of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) granted in the previous three calendar years when formulating the Renewable Volumes Obligations (SVO) for an upcoming year.
“I’ve heard from many farmers in my district, and this is top of mind for them and it’s top of mind for me," said Davis. "We need certainty in an uncertain farm economy and the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act will put us on the right path to move forward. This bill should be passed immediately, and I hope that any final package proposed by President Trump will include the provisions in my bill.”
Requiring the EPA to use realistic estimates of the number of SREs they will grant rather than stating they plan to grant zero when calculating their annual RVO will give industry some degree of certainty and effectively relocate some of the lost gallons that were detrimental to the renewable fuels industry when, most recently, the EPA announced that they had granted 31 SREs. In an effort to incentivize the agency to issue fewer exemptions, his bill does not set a minimum number of waivers that the EPA should grant.
What They Are Saying
NCERC Executive Director John Caupert:
“The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center supports the proposed legislation by Representative Davis which brings relief to the ethanol and agriculture industries from the recent increase in granting of small refinery exemptions. The reallocation of these lost gallons and considering those exemptions when calculating Renewable Volume Obligations for upcoming years is essential to building demand for home-grown bushels and crucial to the continued growth of the ethanol industry.”
Ted Mottaz, President Illinois Corn Growers Association:
“IL Corn Growers Association supports Congressman Davis’s initiative to bring economic stability back into the biofuels industry as it will help bring certainty in the marketplace by addressing the problems through EPA’s actions on small refinery exemptions.”
Illinois Farm Bureau:
“Enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a major accomplishment for Illinois farmers, the rural economy and for our environment. The recent proliferation of small refinery waivers not only undermines the RFS but unnecessarily exacerbates the current downturn in the farm and rural economy. Illinois Farm Bureau strongly supports Rep. Davis’ Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act. Quick passage of this important legislation will restore the integrity of the RFS so it can continue to produce markets for farmers, fuel for motorists, good paying jobs, and cleaner air.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor:
“This legislation comes at a critical time for the biofuels industry,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “With many plants across the country closing or idling, our industry is struggling from the devastating impact of the EPA providing over 4 billion gallons of small refinery exemptions and doing nothing to provide relief to farmers and biofuels producers. The Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act of 2019 is an important step in ensuring gallons asked of the biofuels industry are met in earnest, and we thank Representative Davis for working towards a solution.”
Renewable Fuels Association:
“RFA thanks Congressman Davis for steadfastly supporting the ethanol producers and farmers who have seen their markets destroyed by EPA’s rampant abuse of small refinery exemptions. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Congressman Davis and the co-sponsors to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard program.”
Additional supporters of the bill include the National Corn Growers Association.