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Congressman Davis Introduces Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act

Earleir this week, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis introduced the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act of 2019 after the EPA continues to increase the number of small refineries exempted from the Renewable Fuel Standard. 


The bill would require the EPA Administrator to use the average number of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) granted in the previous three calendar years when formulating the Renewable Volumes Obligations (SVO) for an upcoming year.


In a statemant, Davis says quote - “I’ve heard from many farmers in my district, and this is top of mind for them and it’s top of mind for me. We need certainty in an uncertain farm economy and the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act will put us on the right path to move forward. This bill should be passed immediately, and I hope that any final package proposed by President Trump will include the provisions in my bill.”


Davis believes requiring the EPA to use realistic estimates of the number of SREs they will grant rather than stating they plan to grant zero when calculating their annual RVO will give industry some degree of certainty and effectively relocate some of the lost gallons that were detrimental to the renewable fuels industry when, most recently, the EPA announced that they had granted 31 SREs. 


NCERC Executive Director John Caupert said quote - “The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center supports the proposed legislation by Representative Davis which brings relief to the ethanol and agriculture industries from the recent increase in granting of small refinery exemptions. 


"The reallocation of these lost gallons and considering those exemptions when calculating Renewable Volume Obligations for upcoming years is essential to building demand for home-grown bushels and crucial to the continued growth of the ethanol industry.”


Ted Mottaz, President Illinois Corn Growers Association, says quote - “Illinois Corn Growers Association supports Congressman Davis’s initiative to bring economic stability back into the biofuels industry as it will help bring certainty in the marketplace by addressing the problems through EPA’s actions on small refinery exemptions.”


The Illinois Farm Bureau in a statement said quote - “Enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a major accomplishment for Illinois farmers, the rural economy and for our environment. The recent proliferation of small refinery waivers not only undermines the RFS but unnecessarily exacerbates the current downturn in the farm and rural economy. 


"Illinois Farm Bureau strongly supports Rep. Davis’ Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act. Quick passage of this important legislation will restore the integrity of the RFS so it can continue to produce markets for farmers, fuel for motorists, good paying jobs, and cleaner air.”


In an effort to incentivize the agency to issue fewer exemptions, Davis' bill does not set a minimum number of waivers that the EPA should grant.

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