Ethanol groups ask court to order release of EPA waiver information
Ethanol groups have asked the courts to order the EPA to tell them who received small refinery waivers. RFA President Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield the RFA and Growth Energy jointly filed Freedom of Information Act requests with EPA to find out which refiners don’t have to blend ethanol, without success. “They haven’t been cooperative at all, and this really goes all the way back to 2017, 2018.”
Cooper says EPA refused to say which oil refiners received waivers claiming it was confidential business information, so they filed suit asking the courts to force EPA to release the information. “We’re not asking for their financial data or anything that truly could be considered confidential. We just want to know who’s getting these exemptions.”
Cooper says they’ve filed numerous requests over the past two years without getting answers, and he says they’re hopeful the court agrees that EPA needs to be more transparent. “If a refiner feels like they’re entitled to an exemption and entitled to escape a legal obligation, we think it’s only fair they disclose who they are and why they’re seeking that relief.”
The Renewable Fuels Association asked for the waiver information in three separate Freedom of Information Act requests in April and July of 2018 with no response from the EPA.