STATEMENT ON EPA’S BETRAYAL OF FARMERS THROUGH ABUSE OF SMALL REFINERY WAIVERS

Mike Carr, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MAY 16, 2019

New energy America released the following statement in response to the news that the Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump Administration has outright lied to the American public about their rationale for doling out small refinery waivers and undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“It is absolutely outrageous — not to mention possibly illegal — for the EPA to have betrayed farmers across rural America with their continued efforts to prop up their friends in the oil industry. What is particularly galling is the way they continue to hold themselves out as friends of farm country and pretend they’re upholding their promises, all while using their other hand to pour salt on the wounds of Midwestern families experiencing terrible devastation,” said Executive Director Mike Carr. “The Midwest is ground zero for the climate change fight. Not only do they experience some of its most devastating impacts in “100 year floods” seemingly every few years, they have the wind and biofuels resources to be a global leader in the transition. I know this is an inconvenient truth to the climate deniers in this Administration, but it’s unconscionable to keep pretending they’re helping while they keep dealing blow after blow. We strongly encourage the House Oversight Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee to discharge their Constitutional duties and demand answers.”

To date, 2.6 billion gallons of corn ethanol demand has been destroyed by the EPA’s continuous handouts to oil refineries, exempting them from compliance with the RFS that requires them to blend in biofuels in increasing amounts over time. This statute was created in an effort to gradually build a homegrown non-fossil fuel source and cut carbon emissions from the transportation sector, which is responsible for 40 percent of the United States’ total annual carbon footprint. By issuing small refinery waivers to tycoons like Carl Icahn, the EPA has knowingly allowed them to sidestep the law and avoid compliance with these regulations; reaping financial rewards from their big bets while the biofuels industry withers and farm country suffers. In turn, oil companies continue to see record profits while families in states like Iowa struggle to keep their farms in business year after year. This news comes as farming wages stand at record lows, and the impacts of recent flooding across the Midwest has further devastated these Americans.

It is up to Congress to bring an end to this duplicity and hold this Administration accountable for their years of lying and flouting of the law of the land.