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Wheeler discusses SREs at House hearing

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, testifying before a House Energy Subcommittee Thursday, said he could not confirm a recent report that EPA plans to reduce the number of small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted to oil refineries.

“We’re still in discussions with the Department of Justice, trying to analyze the Tenth Circuit opinion,” Wheeler said. “We have no announcements at this time.”

Wheeler was referring to the court ruling which said EPA overstepped its authority in granting three SREs for the 2016 compliance year.

Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack pressed Wheeler on the SRE issue.

“Can you confirm that the EPA will be applying this decision nationally and not just to the refineries under the Tenth Circuit’s jurisdiction,” Loebsack asked Wheeler.

“We’re still looking at the Tenth Circuit opinion. We’ve not made any final determination,” Wheeler said. “But I will say that President Trump is fully committed to the RFS program. He’s committed to 15 billion gallons meaning 15 billion gallons, which is why we proposed 15.8 in order to net out at 15 billion gallons—which is what is required under the law.”

Wheeler said EPA will announce its response to the court ruling “soon”.

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