WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman
of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to reject the Obama administration’s denial of hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to Sinclair Oil’s two refineries in Wyoming.

"The Obama administration’s EPA exceeded its authority when it ignored the Department of Energy’s recommendations and denied small refineries hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Barrasso. “I’m glad the Court has recognized this and given EPA an opportunity to follow the law.”

Under the RFS, a small refinery may petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator for a hardship waiver on the basis of “disproportionate economic hardship.” Despite the Department of Energy’s recommendation that EPA grant Sinclair a partial waiver for 2014 and 2015, the EPA denied Sinclair’s petitions.

Background Information:

The EPW Committee has jurisdiction over the RFS.

On April 4, 2017, Barrasso and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), chair of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt concerning hardship waivers for small refineries under the RFS.

In 2015, Barrasso helped secure report language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2016, which instructed the Secretary of Energy to recommend to EPA that it grant a 50 percent waiver to small refineries experiencing either a high cost of compliance relative to the industry average or an effect sufficient to cause a significant impairment of the refinery operations viability.