PRINTER'S NO. 897
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE RESOLUTION
No.
139
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY MENSCH AND KANE, JUNE 15, 2021
REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, JUNE 15, 2021
A RESOLUTION
Urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
to exercise the waiver authority in Clean Air Act Section
211(o)(7)(A)(i) to reduce nationwide Renewable Fuel Standard
("RFS") volume mandates to provide relief to refiners in
Pennsylvania, the East Coast and elsewhere, and to implement
additional reforms going forward which will allow for the
blending of renewable fuels consistent with the original
intention of the RFS program, while containing costs for
independent refiners.
WHEREAS, In the last year, spiking Renewable Identification
Number ("RIN") prices and the dramatic reduction in the use of
fuel precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated
United States refiners, leading to refinery closures across the
country; and
WHEREAS, The EPA has authority to waive the RFS program's
renewable fuel requirements "in whole or in part" if the EPA
Administrator determines that "implementation of the requirement
would severely harm the economy" of a State, a region or the
United States; and
WHEREAS, Many refineries already struggle with slim margins,
and the RFS program's RIN requirements, as well as the manner in
which the RIN market operates, are currently inflicting serious
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economic harm on those businesses; and
WHEREAS, Current RFS compliance expenses exceed refineries'
annual costs for labor, utilities and maintenance expenses
combined, making compliance costs the largest expense for a
refinery other than crude oil; and
WHEREAS, RINs have dramatically increased from about 14ยข at
the beginning of calendar year 2020 to nearly $2 today,
resulting in roughly 30 additional cents per gallon to the cost
of making gasoline; and
WHEREAS, Harmful effects of the RFS program are especially
severe in current market conditions, with the demand for refined
products suppressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and not expected to
fully recover in the near future; and
WHEREAS, The pandemic caused an unprecedented year-over-year
decline in the demand for petroleum and other liquid fuels,
leading to temporary and permanent refinery closures and other
capacity reductions throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, The United States Department of Energy (DOE), Energy
Information Administration (EIA) has shown for several years
that there is no relationship between RIN price and the amount
of ethanol actually blended into the gasoline supply; and
WHEREAS, The EIA recently noted that in 2020, 800 million
fewer RINs were actually generated than what was required to
meet the 2020 RFS standard; and
WHEREAS, According to a study performed by the Commonwealth,
each refining job in southeastern Pennsylvania has a large
multiplier effect on the regional and national economy,
supporting an estimated 18.3 jobs in southeastern Pennsylvania,
22 jobs across the Commonwealth, and 61 jobs nationwide, many of
which are in the skilled-trades; and
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WHEREAS, Refining and petrochemical industries contribute
approximately $600 billion annually to the national economy and
employ over 3 million industrial workers in some 33 states; and
WHEREAS, The recent Colonial Pipeline hacking incident has
shown the vulnerability of the nation's energy supply and
highlights the need to keep our refineries open; and
WHEREAS, Governor Tom Wolf has already petitioned the EPA to
issue a waiver from RFS volume mandates to address the severe
economic harm caused by such mandates; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate urge the EPA to exercise the waiver
authority under section 211(o)(7)(A)(i) of the Clean Air Act to
reduce nationwide Renewable Fuel Standard ("RFS") volume
mandates to provide relief to refiners in Pennsylvania and
elsewhere; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Senate urge the Biden Administration and
the Environmental Protection Agency to set 2021 and 2022 volumes
and reform and restructure the RFS program going forward so as
to maintain low and stable RINs prices while allowing for
blending of renewable fuels consistent with the original
intention of the program.
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