Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to strengthen the RFS to support American jobs and decrease dependence on foreign oil

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to deny small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“I have repeatedly called on the Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard by granting small refinery exemptions to multi-billion-dollar oil companies. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the Administration’s misuse of small refinery exemptions had resulted in plant closures and slow-downs, reductions to the rural workforce, and decreases in commodity purchases. 

“Today’s decision by the EPA to reject dozens of pending petitions for small refinery exemptions should have been made years ago - before the Administration gave 85 exemptions to oil companies. They shouldn’t be celebrated for deciding not to further worsen the economic challenges our rural communities are currently facing.”

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Klobuchar has worked hard to ensure our rural economy is strong and rural communities have the tools they need to spur innovation, create jobs and opportunities, and confront the challenges posed by crises like COVID-19.

In August, Klobuchar spoke at a Farmfest virtual forum with agriculture industry economists to discuss the current state of the Ag Economy. Klobuchar highlighted legislation she introduced in May with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to support biofuel producers.

In July, Klobuchar spoke on the Senate Floor to address the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on rural America—and the need to help our rural communities withstand this public health crisis and the resulting economic uncertainty.

For years, Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to strengthen the RFS to support American jobs and decrease dependence on foreign oil. Klobuchar has led several letters urging the Administration to cease issuing small refinery waivers and reject changes to the RFS that would upend stability and predictability for farmers and rural communities. 

In June, Klobuchar led a bipartisan letter joined by Smith, with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject petitions for Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years.

In May, Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced legislation to support biofuel producers negatively affected by the pandemic. This legislation will require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reimburse biofuel producers for their feedstock purchases from January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 through the Commodity Credit Corporation.

In December 2019, Klobuchar led a public comment letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing concern over the proposed supplemental rule establishing the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations and 2021 Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes. The senators argued that the proposed rule—which determines how much biofuel is required to be blended into our transportation fuel supply on an annual basis—fails to adequately account for the waivers, including those given to big oil companies. In October 2019, Klobuchar sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking the agency to document the impact of small refinery waivers on farm income, commodity prices, and renewable fuel usage.