Ethanol advocates file suit against EPA over small refinery exemptions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and National Farmers Union (NFU), with support of Farmers Union Enterprises, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to challenge several waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted in secret to profitable refining companies.The petitioners are challenging three EPA decisions, made under unusually clandestine proceedings, to exempt refineries in Wynnewood, Oklahoma; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Woods Cross, Utah from the RFS requirements of the Clean Air Act. The Wynnewood refinery is owned by Wynnewood Refining Company, a subsidiary of CVR Energy, and the Cheyenne and Woods Cross refineries are owned by Holly Frontier Corporation. The companies have since estimated in financial disclosures that the exemptions have saved them a collective $170 million in compliance costs.When Congress enacted the RFS program a decade ago, it sought to protect certain small refineries from the law’s impacts temporarily by providing an exemption for refineries with no more than 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil throughput. After a two-year blanket exemption expired, Congress also allowed those same refineries to ask for extensions of the temporary exemption if they could show that compliance with the RFS program was causing that particular facility a “disproportionate economic hardship.” Until late last year, EPA only granted a handful of exemptions per year. EPA denied many extension requests, presumably because the refineries failed to meet one or more of these requirements for an extension. In recent months, EPA has granted over two dozen exemptions — including the ones challenged here — without providing any basis for its reversal.“EPA is trying to undermine the RFS program under the cover of night,” said Bob Dinneen, CEO and President of RFA. “And there’s a reason it has been done in secret — it’s because EPA is acting in contravention of the statute and its own regulations, methodically destroying the demand for renewable fuels.“With the little information we’ve been able to piece together through secondary sources, it’s clear that EPA has been extending these exemptions to refineries that didn’t qualify for them.”Although EPA typically publishes its proposed actions and final decisions in the Federal Register, EPA has not followed those protocols for small refineries; nor has EPA even informed the public by any means that it had received or acted on such carve-out requests. Instead, the petitioners learned of the unprecedented number of exemptions second-hand, through media reports and secondary sources.“EPA left us with no choice but to challenge their systematic cuts to ethanol blending in the U.S. by distorting the intent of the law to grant secret hardship waivers to refineries which in some cases exceed the definition of ‘small’ and fall short of demonstrating ‘disproportionate economic hardship,’” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “We cannot sit by and allow EPA to violate the RFS which requires increasing the use of renewable fuels in the U.S.”The petition also notes that EPA has consistently rejected all attempts to bring greater transparency to the small refinery exemption extension process. EPA has refused to provide even the most basic information requested in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from RFA and other parties. More surprisingly, the Agency has also ignored demands from members of Congress for the same essential facts.“EPA’s improper handling of the RFS has significantly cut demand for biofuels grown and produced by American family farmers and their communities. The success of the law lies in the requirement that certain amounts of renewable fuel be blended into our transportation sector. Yet EPA has unlawfully allowed massive refineries to skirt compliance with these requirements, effectively reducing the amount of renewable fuels blended into the transportation sector by more than one billion gallons. These actions must be reversed immediately,” said Roger Johnson, President NFU.The petitioners are not challenging EPA’s underlying authority to exempt certain small refineries; rather they are challenging three granted exemptions as abuses of EPA’s authority. EPA should be forced to explain why an otherwise profitable refinery faces disproportionate hardship from compliance with the RFS. We want EPA to explain why it is reasonable for HollyFrontier, which apparently could not afford to comply with the RFS, could nonetheless afford to undertake a $1 billion stock share repurchase program during the same time—and that’s before the company received over $300 million in tax cuts last year. Likewise, the petitioners would like to understand how EPA could find hardship at CVR Energy, which reported a $23 million profit in the biofuels credit market in the first quarter of 2018 due to what it called a lower RFS obligation.“With their rapidly rising profits, it’s difficult to see what economic hardship these refineries are facing. The apparent lack of hardship raises serious questions of why EPA granted these exemptions, which is compounded by the fact that there is zero transparency in EPA’s small refinery exemption process,” said Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “America’s corn farmers, who are expecting their fifth consecutive year of low commodity prices and who are experiencing the lowest net farm incomes since 2006, understand economic challenges. When refineries are reporting profit increases and repurchasing stock shares, we expect EPA to explain why these refineries were granted exemptions from their RFS volume obligations.”In practice, EPA is attempting to use the small refinery exemptions to waive a significant part of the annual volumes of renewable fuel that are otherwise required to be blended into transportation fuel. Based on EPA data, RFA estimates that small refinery exemptions granted for the past two years have effectively reduced volumes of renewable fuel by as much as 1.6 billion gallons. In enacting the RFS program, however, Congress did not envision the small refinery exemption process would be abused in such a way.last_img read more

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Mani accuses BCCI of playing politics with Pakistan

first_imgFormer International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has accused the Indian cricket board officials of using their financial clout to play politics with Pakistan.Former ICC president Ehsan Mani. AP”India has become cricket’s biggest commercial market in the last 15 years and unfortunately their present board is using this financial clout to play politics, particularly with Pakistan,” Mani said in an interview to Radio Deutsche Welle.Mani said that Pakistan losing the 2011 World Cup rights, the forced exclusion of Pakistani players from the IPL and Champions League and the continued refusal of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to even play Pakistan at neutral venues, were some of the evident examples of India playing politics with Pakistan.”The present Indian board has isolated Pakistan in international cricket,” alleged Mani.He also pointed out that the move by the ICC to end the rotational policy system to nominate the President of the ICC, was because of India’s influence.Pakistan and Bangladesh boards are supposed to nominate their candidates for the ICC President’s post when Sharad Pawar steps down in 2014/15.”The Indians are behind this move because they don’t want a Pakistani heading the ICC and also want to increase their overall influence and control in the world body,” claimed Mani.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already opposed the proposals to end the rotation system and to make it mandatory for all member boards to amend their constitutions to ensure that their office bearers are elected and not through government interference.advertisementThe former ICC President, however, admitted that teh PCB itself was responsible for the existing situation and its continued isolation in world cricket.”The PCB, because of its wrong policies while dealing with other boards and its continued strife with its own players, has inflicted self damage. Gone are the days when PCB carried influence and say in the ICC matters,” he said.Mani said that great damage had been done to Pakistan cricket in the last two years because of the regular problems between the Board and the players.”These things have damaged Pakistan cricket to no end because PCB has had no visibly clear policies on many issues.”Mani, who is the only Pakistani to have held the highest position in the world governing body, said until there was a system of accountability in the PCB, nothing will change.Mani backed ICC’s move to make it mandatory for every member board to have elections and not have government interference in their matters.”This is a good and constructive move by the ICC and I think Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh boards stand to gain the most from it because these are the countries where government interference in cricket affairs is obvious.”He pointed out that even India had repeatedly said that they can’t play Pakistan in a bilateral series because their government had not given clearance.”This is a good development and the Pakistan board should not oppose it because in the long run it will be the Asian cricket boards that will benefit most from it,” he said.But the PCB has already issued a legal notice to the ICC over the proposed regulation, insisting that every country had to operate its cricket affairs in line with its particular system.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

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Álvaro Morata denies he is unsettled as Chelsea prepare to face Roma

first_imgÁlvaro Morata has reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea and insisted he is happy at the club after appearing to suggest in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that he pines for Italy and finds life in London “too much stress”.The Spain forward, who spent two seasons at Juventus, signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer after joining for a club record initial fee of £58m from Real Madrid. Indeed, after he hinted over the weekend at being unsettled, his attempts to demonstrate a desire to make a success of life at Chelsea led to the forward ending his pre-match press conference at the Olympic Stadium, where his team take on Roma on Tuesday, by claiming he would be willing to sign longer terms at the club. Was this helpful? 21 February 2012 Napoli 3-1 Chelsea, last 16André Villas-Boas was sacked within two weeks of a defeat in Naples in which Chelsea were comprehensively outgunned. But an astonishing second leg comeback won the tie 5-4 before Chelsea won the Champions League under Robert Di Matteo. 4 November 2008 Roma 3-1 Chelsea, group gameTop of the table Chelsea mat Roma on a run of four defeats, but were undone by Christian Panucci and two goals from Mirko Vucinic, with John Terry scoring a consolation effort. Álvaro Morata, Chelsea’s new Mr Nice, wants to be Antonio Conte’s beast Show Antonio Conte 10 March 2009 Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (agg 2-3), last 16 Chelsea went through to the quarter-finals on aggregate after a stern test in which Juventus dominated throughout. Didier Drogba’s late goal levelled the match at 2-2 and won Chelsea the tie. 26 October 1999 Milan 1-1 Chelsea, group gameChelsea have won only one of their eight Champions League games in Italy – a 4-0 win against Roma’s city rivals Lazio in November 2003Dennis Wise’s late equaliser earned Gianluca Vialli’s side a draw. Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Hide Thank you for your feedback. 6 December 1999 Lazio 0-0 Chelsea, group gameA resolute Chelsea hold off Sven Goran-Eriksson’s Lazio strikeforce including Simone Inzaghi, Roberto Mancini, Marcelo Salas and Alen Boksic. Roma Chelsea 20 November 2012 Juventus 3-0 ChelseaRoberto Di Matteo was sacked following a humbling 3-0 defeat in Turin in which he dropped Fernando Torres and played Eden Hazard as a striker. Chelsea have won only one of their eight Champions League games in Italy – a 4-0 win against Roma’s city rivals Lazio in November 2003. Read more Share on WhatsApp “The disappointment [of leaving Juve] was enormous and I found myself back to the starting point,” he told Gazzetta. “Real treated me like the guy I was before the two seasons in Italy. Italy, for a Spaniard, is the best country to live.“You have everything: beauty, history, art, cooking, fashion. I would never have left Italy and Juve. My wife would like to live in Spain, I in Italy. Here, too, we can find a compromise.”Morata has failed to score in five appearances against Roma and will attempt to break his duck as Chelsea seek the win to ease progress into the knockout phase of the Champions League. Yet they may have to do so without N’Golo Kanté, who will be assessed by the medical staff on Tuesday. The France midfielder has trained three times since hurting a hamstring in a World Cup qualifying win in Bulgaria this month and Conte will talk to him to determine whether he is confident enough to feature. /info/2016/jan/05/the-fiver-email-sign-up The champions face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and it seems likely Kanté will be spared full involvement in Rome with that match in mind. “I think it’s very important, in this moment, to speak with the player and then see his sensation,” said Conte. “I was a player and I know very well that after an injury, above all a muscular problem – a bad injury – it’s very important to listen to the player and find out what are his sensations and then make the best decision for him and for the team. For sure, tomorrow, we’ll try and make the best decision.”The Frenchman was badly missed in the first fixture against Roma, when the Italian club trailed 2-0, led 3-2 and then shipped a late equaliser to Eden Hazard. Like Chelsea, they have won their three subsequent domestic fixtures and hope to have Kostas Manolas, another player courted by the Premier League club in the recent past, fit and available after he resumed training following a thigh complaint. “We respect Chelsea but we’re also convinced about what we can do,” said the manager, Eusebio Di Francesco. “We’re growing and the great strength of this team is that we give away very little. We didn’t go for broke in London; we played with our own identity. That match must be a starting point for us.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 24 February 2010 Inter 1-2 Chelsea, last 16Chelsea were beaten by José Mourinho’s Inter, the eventual tournament winners, in the first leg and would go on to be knocked out in the second leg at home. Timeline Chelsea’s Champions League record in Italy Topics Champions League Share via Email 4 November 2003 Lazio 0-4 Chelsea, group gameHernan Crespo, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Damien Duff and Frank Lampard score in a rout in Rome, while Sinisa Mihajlovic is sent off after kicking and spitting at Adrian Mutu. Share on LinkedIn news The striker scored seven goals in his first seven games for Antonio Conte’s side only for a thigh injury, sustained against Manchester City, to disrupt his rhythm. His last goal came in the win at Atlético Madrid more than a month ago. “I want to say again that we had a problem of understanding in this interview,” said Morata, who was born in Madrid and has had two spells at Real.“If Chelsea proposed me 10 years I’d probably sign that too. I’m happy with this club, in this city, with everything in London. I really like London and probably, if I make good and improve, probably I can stay here more than five years. But I need to score many goals otherwise Chelsea will buy another player. It’s normal.“We have a communication problem with this interview. I wanted to say, probably in the future when I finish in my career, I won’t live in London. But now, at the moment, I’m very happy in London and enjoy living in London with my wife. In the future, when I need to bring my child to school, or when I finish my career, I’d prefer to come back to my country. It’s normal. I prefer the place I was born. But now I’m very happy. When I say it’s a stressful city, I’m only talking about the traffic and that there are a lot of people there. But it’s an incredible city with many religions and many kinds of different people, so I really enjoy London.”Morata had conducted the interview with Gazzetta post-match at Bournemouth, where Chelsea won 1-0 on Saturday. When asked about life in England, he had suggested he did not see himself “living in London for very long”. The forward has settled in Chelsea, in the same apartment block in which Conte lived last season, but has found the capital “too big, too much stress, too much of a metropolis”. That seemed to imply he would soon be joining his team-mates and head coach in Surrey, near the side’s training base in Cobham, rather than being unsettled in the Premier League.However, perhaps more concerning for the club – particularly in the wake of Diego Costa’s constant pining for Madrid – was the warmth in which Morata still clearly holds Italy. The forward spoke fondly of his time at Juve, where he was signed by Conte in the summer of 2014, and is married to an Italian. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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