EPA Continues to Undermine RFS with Hardship Waivers
According to recent reports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a “financial hardship waiver” to a refinery owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, exempting it from requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Exxon Mobil is the largest American oil and gas company, reporting earnings upwards of $20 billion last year.
The RFS exists to drive investment in American-grown biofuels. However, the EPA has consistently misappropriated RFS waivers to large oil refiners, ultimately cutting demand for biofuels by 2.25 billion gallons in 2016 and 2017 and undermining the intent of the law. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the report:
“We are deeply disappointed by the ongoing mishandling of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Farmers and rural communities rely on the RFS to create market opportunities, a role that is particularly important as they endure low commodity prices and large surpluses. Yet the EPA continues to bungle the enforcement the law and erode its function.
“With farm economy at its weakest state in nearly three decades, it is frankly disgusting that multibillion-dollar corporations are receiving government handouts at the expense of struggling family farmers and ranchers. The EPA must not only halt the misappropriation of these so-called ‘hardship waivers,’ but they also must work to find other mechanisms to account for the billions of gallons of demand they have already destroyed.”
–National Farmers Union