WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final decisions related to 31 small refinery exemptions and six application denials:

“President Trump and his administration have taken one step forward, waiving 400 million fewer gallons of ethanol than last year. While they’re on the right track, we’ve got to do more. We can’t ignore the 31 exemptions granted and the lack of transparency,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “I’m committed to holding EPA accountable and ensuring they not only uphold the intent of the RFS but that they’re more transparent and forthcoming in this exemption process. That’s why I’m working on a legislative fix that will address this issue head on and ensure Iowa’s farmers, growers, and producers get the predictability they deserve.”

Senator Ernst is a cosponsor of S.1840, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would ensure EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) it sets each November. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require small refineries to petition for RFS hardship exemptions by June 1 of each year;
  • Ensure the following key information surrounding small refinery exemptions is made publicly available:
    • Petitioner’s name;
    • Name and location of the facility for which relief was requested;
    • Time period for which relief was requested; and
    • The extent to which the EPA granted or denied the requested relief.
    • Require the EPA to report to Congress on the methodology it uses when granting small refinery exemptions.