Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor recently penned a column for the July issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine on the damaging effects the rapid rise of small refinery exemptions have had on the rural economy and biofuels industry. In the column, Skor wrote:
“So with costs down and profits up, it’s hard to imagine how multibillion-dollar oil corporations like Exxon Mobil and Chevron were able to claim “disproportionate economic hardship”—a prerequisite for their refineries to secure special exemptions from the U.S. EPA. Exemptions in hand, these refiners were permitted to replace 2.6 billion gallons of homegrown biofuels with more petroleum. And while media reports have uncovered the names of several recipients, most remain hidden behind a bureaucratic smokescreen, despite EPA promises to increase transparency.
“Worse, it’s hard-pressed rural families who are paying the price for these record profits. U.S. ethanol consumption recently fell for the first time in 20 years. Across the heartland, many biofuel plants have shut their doors or idled production. Farm income plummeted $11.8 billion over just the last three months, the steepest drop since 2016. That’s why Growth Energy is working closely with our rural champions in Congress to restore integrity to the process…
“…It’s clear that leaders in Washington are taking notice. We will not allow these exemptions to get lost in the noise while rural communities suffer. Because the numbers are clear. The “economic hardship” is happening in America’s farm belt—not in oil company boardrooms. It’s time for EPA to fulfill the president’s promises to rural America and restore the market promised to America’s biofuel producers.”