Rep. Davis seeks limit to RFS waivers

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis this week introduced legislation intended to limit the number of small refinery exemptions the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can issue.

“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," Davis said. "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.”

The legislation, supported by Illinois Farm Bureau, would require the EPA Administrator to use the average number of small refinery exemptions granted in the previous three calendar years when formulating the renewable volumes obligations for an upcoming year.

“Enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a major accomplishment for Illinois farmers, the rural economy and for our environment,” said IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. “The recent proliferation of small refinery waivers not only undermines the RFS but unnecessarily exacerbates the current downturn in the farm and rural economy. … 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.”

During last week’s Leaders to Washington trip, Illinois Farm Bureau members told lawmakers and EPA they were concerned with the continued issuance of waivers.

The Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and National Corn Growers Association also supports the legislation.

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