Enzi, Barrasso, Cheney call for relief for small refineries

US Representative for Wyoming, Liz Cheney, holds a microphone during a Q & A with the Casper Area Chamber of Commerce in August of 2017. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso listen in the crowd. (Oil City News, Trevor T. Trujillo)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s United States Congressional delegates are all calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to “grant hardship relief for small refineries under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.”

Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Representative Liz Cheney all think that the Renewable Fuel Standard program, which requires that “a certain volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel,” can cause small refineries “immense burden.”

That is according to a Wednesday, July 17 press release from the delegation. The three also think that the EPA has the authority to provide relief to small refineries.

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“’The Renewable Fuel Standard program can create hardships for those small refineries like we have in Wyoming that support quality jobs in our state and help support our communities,’ Enzi said. ‘In the past, this Administration has fairly reviewed these hardship requests and realized their importance to help the hardworking folks who are working to fuel our nation.'”

“‘While outside groups with their own agendas can often look to influence the decision-making process, it is vital that the EPA fairly review these requests.’”

Barrasso called on the Trump administration to help protect small refineries in Wyoming.

“’The law requires EPA to grant relief to any small refinery that suffers disproportionate economic hardship from the Renewable Fuel Standard,'” Barrasso said.

“‘Under the Obama administration the EPA ignored the law. Federal courts had to step in to protect Wyoming refineries. President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler understand the important role our small refineries play in keeping America energy dominant. We should all stand with small refineries and the communities they support.’”

Cheney says the the the Renewable Fuel Standard program was a threat to refineries across the country.

“’Wyoming’s small refineries are so crucial to our overall economy and cannot comply with the heavy handed mandates of the RFS,'” Cheney said.

“‘President Trump and his Administration have taken extensive action to help this industry that’s crucial to our state, and he and EPA Administrator Wheeler recognize how important it is to empower these refineries.'”

Barrasso and Enzi sent a letter to President Donald Trump “to prohibit the secretary of agriculture from influencing or interfering with the decision-making process over petitions for hardship relief from small refineries,” the press release concludes.