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Senator Lankford Disappointed with RFS Mandates

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced administrative changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) regarding requirements to reallocate volumes waived through small refinery exemptions (SREs).

“The RFS has been a problem since day one, and the proposed increase to the mandate only further complicates a broken federal requirement to blend biofuels into gasoline,” said Lankford. “This proposal continues allowing exemptions for small refineries but spreads their biofuels-blending obligation out to other refiners in the market. Despite the possibility that small refiners will get waivers from the Standard, the cost of compliance will likely go up for everyone else trying to provide fuel to American consumers—a cost that will surely be passed down to the consumer. As I have said many times, if the market demands higher biofuel blends, our producers can supply it, but we should not require biofuels to be blended, since it will ultimately increase gas prices for Oklahomans. Higher gas prices mean higher prices for many things our families need, like groceries. Higher gas prices especially affect those on a fixed income.”

Lankford has been critical for years of the EPA’s management of the RFS program. In recent years, the levels of biofuels required under the law to be blended into our nation’s gasoline supply have been out of step with what the market can absorb, and the EPA has struggled to adjust the requirement downward to compensate for market realities. Small refineries in particular have struggled to comply with the program and have found critical relief in the Administration’s previous approval of requests to be exempted from the program through SREs.

The Administration is pursuing a policy of reallocating the obligation of small refineries to all other refineries. Ultimately, this proposal increases the overall biofuel blending requirement to an already saturated market while concentrating the mandate on fewer refineries. This proposal to raise the government’s biofuels mandate will only hurt consumers and refiners. Lankford has called for the repeal of the RFS throughout his time in both the House and Senate.

On September 19, Lankford met with President Trump, EPA Secretary Wheeler, and others to discuss ways to address problems with the RFS and its associated credits and exemptions. Lankford remains outspoken about having a market-driven, all-of-the-above, and all-of-the-below energy policy.