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Sen. Cruz to EPA: No Relief for Refinery Workers, No Consent for EPA Nominee

Urges action for hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers

July 1, 2020

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement on the nomination of Doug Benevento to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

"The price of RINs has more than quadrupled since the beginning of the year, and now sits around $0.50. These sky-high prices coupled with the energy and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic have wreaked havoc on America's small refineries and blue-collar workers. Time and time again, the EPA has had the opportunity to rein in rising RIN costs, provide real relief to refiners, and save hundreds of thousands of refining jobs that depend on a vibrant energy sector, and time and time again, it hasn't done so. Until Administrator Wheeler delivers on his promise to take actions that help bring stability to the price of RINs, I will not allow this nomination to move forward."

Background:

Sen. Cruz supported the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler to be the EPA Administrator last year, saying, in part: "I look forward to working together to continue Small Refinery Exemptions, consistent with federal law and recent court decisions, and to reset the statutory conventional biofuel volume at a level that is aligned with market realities and does not exceed 15 billion gallons. I also look forward to working with him to insure against the retroactive reallocation of previously waived volumes of biofuels and to implement common sense RIN market reforms that will combat destructive market manipulation and speculation."

Sen. Cruz previously urged the administration to appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decision invalidating hardship relief for a number of small refineries under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). After providing assurances it would appeal the ruling, the administration weeks later changed course and allowed the ruling to stand.

Sen. Cruz also urged Administrator Wheeler to waive the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) in support of a bipartisan request from six governors. Last month, a report indicated that EPA will require an extra 500 million gallons of biofuel blending over the next two years as part of the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligation.

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