House passes energy bill with Peterson RFS provisions

-The Hagstrom Report

The House on Thursday passed H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, that includes the provisions of the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., introduced to bring accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The bill passed 220 to 185.

“The House passage of H.R. 4447 moves us closer to holding EPA accountable for its reckless use of small refinery waivers,” Peterson said in a news release.

“EPA has granted dozens of waivers in recent years and has refused to share details of their justification with Congress and the public. The waivers undermine the blending requirements required by law and harms rural communities that produce biofuels. The provisions of my bill will force EPA to publicly release details of these waiver petitions.”

The bill would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived, and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor noted that the bill had bipartisan support and said, “After years of EPA mismanagement, this legislation would finally give farmers and biofuel producers a long-overdue peek at EPA’s secretive and destructive process.”

“EPA’s lack of transparency on refinery exemptions sends mixed signals to the market and leaves billions of gallons of demand at the mercy of regulatory whim,” Skor said. “This long-overdue fix would begin to close the book on abuse and put rural America on a stable footing while we rebuild the agricultural supply chain.”