Energy giants Chevron and Exxon have asked the Environmental Protection Agency for waivers from the nation’s biofuels program that have typically been reserved for small refiners in financial trouble.
A Reuters report says that will only add fuel to the fire in the debate between the oil and ethanol industries over how the Trump Administration should handle the RFS. An EPA source says the agency has already issued an unusually high number of 25 waivers to small refineries in recent months.
However, the agency won’t name the companies that have been granted waivers, citing concerns over private company information. Both Chevron and Exxon are among the most profitable energy companies in the world. They’ve asked the EPA to grant waivers for their smallest companies, including a Chevron refinery in Utah and an Exxon operation in Montana. If the exemptions are granted, it would free the refineries from having to hand in blending credits earned or purchased in 2017, which are coming due this year.
Five Republican senators, including Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from Iowa, wrote in a joint statement saying, “EPA is hiding behind poor excuses about proprietary business information to shield big oil companies from public scrutiny.”