Toomey calls on EPA boss to visit re­finer­ies

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By Kath­leen E. Carey kcarey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com

U.S. Sen Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has asked the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency Act­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tor An­drew Wheeler to visit a Delaware Val­ley re­fin­ery to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the im­pact the Re­new­able Fuel Stan­dard is hav­ing on lo­cal jobs.

Both Mon­roe En­ergy in Trainer and Philadel­phia En­ergy So­lu­tions have faced chal­lenges meet­ing the RFS be­cause of Re­new­able Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Num­bers. To reach com­pli­ance, mer­chant re­fin­ers such as Mon­roe and PES must pur­chase these RINs. PES spent about $218 mil­lion on RINs in 2017 alone. Since

2012 when they pur­chased the re­fin­ery, PES has paid

$832 mil­lion for these cred­its.

In the let­ter the sen­a­tor sent Thurs­day, he ex­plained the sit­u­a­tion.

“Since its cre­ation over a decade ago, the RFS has failed to ac­com­plish the orig­i­nally en­vi­sioned goals of tan­gi­ble en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits and im­proved en­ergy in­de­pen­dence,” Toomey wrote. “More­over, the RFS has im­posed fi­nan­cial harm on mo­torists, the broader trans­porta­tion sec­tor and do­mes­tic oil re­fin­ers.”

Toomey ex­plained that the mil­lions spent on RINs would oth­er­wise go to­ward cap­i­tal in­vest­ments and the hir­ing of work­ers.

“The RFS picks win­ners and losers amongst sources of en­ergy and has named mer­chant re­fin­ers, par­tic­u­larly those in the Philadel­phia re­gion, the losers,” Toomey wrote.

He wrote about the ef­fects on the 1,600 work­ers at Mon­roe and PES.

“Un­for­tu­nately, high and un­pre­dictable RIN prices threaten the fi­nan­cial well-be­ing of these fa­cil­i­ties and jeop­ar­dize their high-pay­ing, blue col­lar jobs,” he wrote. “In fact, un­sus­tain­able RIN costs are the rea­son why PES de­clared bank­ruptcy ear­lier this year and al­though the com­pany has since emerged from bank­ruptcy, fail­ure to di­rectly ad­dress high, volatile RIN prices in a fu­ture EPA rule­mak­ing would sub­ject re­finer­ies across the coun­try to sim­i­lar fi­nan­cial hard­ship.”

Mer­chant re­fin­ers like Mon­roe and PES are re­stricted from blend­ing the ethanol into the gaso­line them­selves. Larger oil com­pa­nies with in­te­grated re­finer­ies have blend­ing op­er­a­tions in other lo­ca­tions and that di­vi­sion of their com­pany re­ceives the ethanol credit while the refin­ing por­tion takes a hit, re­sult­ing in a bal­ance for the big­ger com­pa­nies.

PES filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy in Jan­uary as a way to deal with the costs of these reg­u­la­tions that have in­creased ten­fold in the six years since the Car­lyle Group pur­chased the fa­cil­ity.

Pat Toomey

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