Full Title: Renewable Fuel Standard: Actions Needed to Improve Decision-Making in the Small Refinery Exemption Program
Author(s): Government Accountability Office
Publisher(s): Government Accountability Office
Publication Date: November 3, 2022
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The RFS requires that gasoline and diesel fuels be blended with a minimum volume of renewable fuel. Small refineries can petition EPA annually for an exemption from their RFS obligations based on disproportionate economic hardship. EPA must evaluate small refinery exemption petitions in consultation with DOE.
GAO was asked to review issues related to EPA’s and DOE’s implementation of the small refinery exemption program. This report examines (1) information, policies, and procedures EPA and DOE use to make decisions about exemptions; and (2) the extent to which exemption decisions are timely. GAO analyzed data and documents related to exemptions from 2013 through 2021 and interviewed agency officials and industry stakeholders.
GAO is making seven recommendations, including that EPA reassess its conclusion that all small refineries recover their RFS compliance costs in the price of the gasoline and diesel they sell, DOE and EPA develop documented policies and procedures for making small refinery exemption decisions, and EPA develop procedures to ensure that it meets deadlines.