Axne Announces GAO Investigation into EPA’s Misuse of Small Refinery Exemptions

January 13, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Axne joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers requesting an investigation back in August

Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had responded to a letter written by bipartisan members of the House Biofuels Caucus, including Rep. Axne and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), requesting an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) misuse of small refinery exemptions. The GAO accepted the request, and according to the letter will “begin work shortly.”

Year after year, this administration has let Iowans down by issuing an unprecedented number of small refinery exemptions,” Rep. Axne said. “These exemptions are a handout to big oil at the expense of ethanol producers and Iowa farmers. I am pleased that the GAO will conduct an investigation of the EPA’s handling of these exemptions.

Since 2017, the EPA has issued over eighty small refinery exemptions (SREs), resulting in the loss of demand for billions of gallons of renewable fuel and millions of bushels of corn.

On August 21, Rep. Axne joined bipartisan members of the House Biofuels Caucus, including Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, in requesting the GAO conduct an investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling of SREs. Rep. Axne also requested an investigation by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General.  

A copy of the letter can be found here and GAO’s response here.