WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to grant small refineries hardship relief under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for compliance year 2018.

“I applaud Administrator Wheeler for setting aside politics and following the law,” said Barrasso. “The Clean Air Act requires EPA to grant relief to small refineries suffering disproportionate economic hardship under the Renewable Fuel Standard. During the Obama administration, EPA wrongly denied relief to small refineries and the federal courts rebuked the agency. The administrator deserves credit for upholding the statute and recognizing the importance of small refineries and the communities they support.” 

Barrasso is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) which has jurisdiction over EPA and RFS.

Background Information:

On July 1, 2019, Barrasso and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a letter to President Trump asking to prohibit the secretary of Agriculture from influencing or interfering with the decision-making process over small refinery petitions for hardship relief. The senators explain that the law only authorizes the EPA administrator to consult with the secretary of Energy when evaluating these petitions.

On April 24, 2018, Barrasso and Capito, chair of the EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Sec. Rick Perry calling on them to protect the confidential business information of America’s small refineries.

On March 5, 2018, Barrasso and Capito sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt and Energy Sec. Perry emphasizing the importance of granting hardship relief for America’s small refineries. The letter also reminded the administrator and the secretary that small refineries submit confidential business and other highly sensitive information that the agencies and their contractors must protect from all outside parties.

Barrasso has pressed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to protect hardship relief for small refineries during multiple EPW Committee hearings.