Grassley not happy with EPA RFS reply | TheFencePost.com

Grassley not happy with EPA RFS reply

-The Hagstrom Report

The Environmental Protection Agency finally replied to a letter that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and 11 other senators sent in April inquiring about waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard, but Grassley was not pleased with the agency's answer.

EPA said it granted 19 waivers in 2016 and 29 in 2017, but could not tell the senators what companies got the waivers.

"The idea that disclosing to Congress the names of waiver recipients somehow reveals confidential business information doesn't make any sense and isn't acceptable," Grassley said in a statement.

"Providing congress with the names of recipients wouldn't reveal any details about their operations or finances," Grassley said. "It's a necessary first step to making sure the law is being followed."

"We already know many of the companies that have received so-called hardship waivers through news reports, likely because many of the companies have a financial interest in making that information public or have an obligation to their shareholders to do so.

"I appreciate finally receiving a response within days of acting Administrator (Andrew) Wheeler taking the reins at EPA, but this non-answer is disappointing.

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"EPA's acknowledgment that only one waiver applicant has been denied in the past couple years raises questions about the legitimacy of the process," Grassley said.

"The agency seems to be using a rubber stamp to help Big Oil skirt the law. EPA's implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard law isn't above congressional oversight. No government agency and no law is.

"I plan on discussing this issue soon with acting Administrator Wheeler, and I hope EPA is more forthcoming under his leadership than his predecessor's."