Biden EPA Regulations Closing Small American Refineries As Energy Supply Struggles Worsen

Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to issue an order that will likely put a Texas refinery out of business just as the loss of American energy independence is crushing the US economy.

The EPA is expected to deny requests for economic hardship exemptions to the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) made by several small American oil refineries.

Blaze Media reports that Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) is sending a letter to the EPA urging it to reconsider the decision to deny Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) petitions submitted by small independent refineries around the country, including The San Antonio Refinery LLC (TSAR), a small independent refinery.

TSAR employs around 100 people at its facility and produces about 21,000 barrels of fuel per day. It obtains its crude oil from the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas. It supplies diesel fuel and gasoline to the San Antonio and Austin metro areas.

TSAR has been operating since 2013 under an exemption to the RFS ethanol blending rules under guidelines inside the Clean Air Act that can exclude refineries producing under 75,000 barrels of fuel per day. Such refineries also must show that RFS compliance would lead to “disproportionate economic hardship.”

In December of last year, the Biden EPA suddenly turned on exemptions, proposing the blanket denial of all SRE petitions currently pending. For TSAR, its petitions from 2019 to 2021 stand to be affected.

Roy warns the EPA in his letter that the overwhelming regulatory burden of RFS will destroy small refineries like TSAR. He said the proposal would lead to the refinery’s closure, ending many good jobs and further increasing American fuel costs. He pointed out the ruling would make the country even more dependent on hostile foreign nations like Russia for essential energy needs.

Regarding “disproportionate economic hardship,” Roy said that TSAR estimates SRE denial’s cost would be six times more than its total annual payroll. He added that denying all SRE petitions would violate the statutory obligation to consider each petition on its merits.

Under the Biden administration, the US doubled the oil imported from Russia in 2021.