A group of Republican lawmakers is urging Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler to stand with the men and women who earn livelihoods working in America’s small refineries across the country and to block Democrats’ efforts to lobby the agency to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE’s).
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) issued statements on Wednesday in response to the Democrats’ request.
Some of the Democrats pressing EPA are among those who have endorsed the radical Green New Deal resolution that would transform the U.S. economy and infrastructure, including ending the use of fossil fuels and halt air travel.
“I urge Administrator Wheeler and the administration to stand with hardworking refinery workers across this country and continue enacting policies that promote greater energy independence,” Cruz said. “Under President Trump’s leadership, America is now the number one energy producer in the world.”
“Not only do these Democrats want to roll that back, four of them want to end oil production in this country altogether,” Cruz said. “It is important to refinery workers across the country that these 12 Democrats do not undermine America’s energy renaissance, and set the administration’s policy on Small Refinery Exemptions.”
“During his confirmation process, Administrator Wheeler expressed his commitment to following the law and continuing the legally required granting of SREs to those small refineries that qualify,” Cruz said. “It is my hope that Administrator Wheeler will uphold the rule of law and President Trump’s promise to the thousands of blue collar workers whose jobs depend on reducing federal compliance costs for our nation’s independent refiners.”
“The Trump administration must protect America’s small refineries,” Barrasso said. “The Clean Air Act requires EPA to grant relief to any small refinery that suffers disproportionate economic hardship from the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
“Under the Obama administration, EPA ignored the law and federal courts rebuked the agency,” Barrasso said. “President Trump and Administrator Wheeler understand the important role small refineries play in keeping America energy dominant. We should all stand with small refineries and the communities they support.”
“Energy independence and sticking by the hardworking men and women who make that possible is incredibly important to Americans—I know it’s important to those who work in the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma and their families,” Inhofe said. “Some of the same Democrats who cosponsored the far-fetched, radical Green New Deal that would eliminate more than 170,000 refining jobs are now urging Administrator Wheeler to ignore the law and take steps to further harm an industry that keeps America running.”
“I know Administrator Wheeler sees this effort for what it is – another attack on fossil fuels and I urge him today to stand by the men and women who work hard every day in small refineries across the United States,” Inhofe said.
“Refineries provide family-sustaining wages to thousands of Pennsylvania workers,” Toomey said. “EPA and the courts have made clear that waivers must be issued to refineries suffering severe economic harm from the ill-conceived corn ethanol mandate. The waivers simply diminish the burden of this terrible mandate on the refineries least able to afford it, and therefore allow them to continue doing business.”
“With this in mind, Administrator Wheeler and President Trump should continue working to bolster our flourishing energy sector, not undermine it,” Toomey said.
“I’ve urged Administrator Wheeler to support our nation’s refineries and preserve jobs by continuing to grant justified exemptions in accordance with the law,” Kennedy said. “The energy industry is essential to Louisiana’s economy and this nation’s energy independence.”
“The biofuel industry wants to rewrite the rules and force refineries out of business,” Kennedy said. “That would kill jobs across Louisiana.”
“Small refineries are an important part of our nation’s energy infrastructure, employing thousands across our country and helping the U.S. maintain its leadership in energy production,” Wicker said. “The 12 Democrats that signed onto this letter have ignored the important economic role that oil production plays in driving our economy, particularly in rural areas.”
“I urge EPA Administrator Wheeler to stand by his promises to our nation’s small refiners and follow the intent of Congress to provide much-needed regulatory relief from the onerous requirements of the RFS program,” Wicker said.
“Not only does oil production provide good-paying jobs to thousands of hard-working Americans, but under President Trump’s energy dominance agenda the United States has become the world’s top energy producer,” Lee said. “I urge Administrator Wheeler to follow the law and uphold his commitment to continue granting waivers to small refineries that need regulatory relief to keep energy prices low and energy employment high.”
“Wyoming is at the front and center of America’s energy revitalization, and it’s due in part to President Trump and Administrator Wheeler’s commitment to our nation’s energy independence,” Enzi said. “Small Refinery Exemptions are an important part of reducing federal red tape and ensuring Wyoming’s oil industry can flourish.”
“Under the Trump administration’s energy independent agenda, we’ve seen new investments bring billions to our country and create good-paying jobs for Louisiana refinery workers,” Cassidy said. “We need to continue our effort to unleash American energy dominance, our independent refiners depend on it.”
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