EPA unresponsive to letter on agency position on RIN prices

By Office of Chuck Grassley | March 01, 2018

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, today issued the following statement on EPA’s official position, restated as recently as November 2017 that, “high RIN prices do not cause significant harm to refiners.” Grassley also commented on a previously unreleased letter that he, along with Sens. John Thune, R-S.D.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wrote in January 2018 asking EPA about its previous assessments that RIN prices do not affect the success of refiners. EPA has yet to respond to the senators’ letter, despite numerous staff follow-ups.

“We are told that action needs to be taken to lower RIN prices to help refiners. But under both Democratic and Republican administrations, EPA has found that RIN prices don’t affect whether refiners are successful or not,” Grassley said. “That was true of President Obama’s EPA and it’s true of President Trump’s EPA. Several of my colleagues and I asked EPA about this in light of calls to make changes to the RFS, but we’ve yet to receive a response. I’m always willing to engage in good faith discussions on any issue, but the facts need to be on the table. Changing the RFS based on misinformation and baseless arguments isn’t fair to the thousands of farmers and workers throughout rural America whose livelihoods would be harmed if the RFS were undermined.”

The EPA in November 2017 found (p. 198), “After reviewing the available data, EPA has concluded that refiners are generally able to recover the cost of RINs in the prices they receive for their refined products, and therefore high RIN prices do not cause significant harm to refiners.” In May 2015, EPA found (p. 22), “the obligated parties were generally able to recover this increase in the cost of meeting their RIN obligations in the price they received for their petroleum-based products in 2013.”

The full letter from the senators can be found here.