Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association submitted formal comments to the U.S Department of Justice on the proposed Settlement Agreement between Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the outstanding RFS compliance obligations the refiner has included in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. NCGA is opposed to the proposed settlement, as it would undermine the RFS.
“As producers of the primary feedstock used in the production of conventional biofuel, a key component of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), corn farmers maintain a vested interest in the integrity of the RFS and in the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) compliance system for obligated parties,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “This proposed settlement agreement would have negative policy implications for the RFS and future compliance with the Clean Air Act. As such, NCGA urges DOJ to withdraw and reconsider the proposed Settlement Agreement because it undermines the RFS and fails to hold all parties liable for violations of the Clean Air Act responsible.”
Poor financial decisions and management caused PES to file for bankruptcy protection, not the RFS, yet this proposed settlement agreement would allow the refiner to walk away from more than half of its outstanding RFS obligations and allow its parent companies to avoid liability for these obligations. The RFS has helped the United States become more energy independent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the price of gas at the pump for consumers. If EPA and the bankruptcy court disregard RFS obligations as proposed, this settlement agreement undermines the RFS.
“NCGA urges the DOJ to reject the proposed Settlement Agreement in order to ensure that PES and its ownership group’s environmental responsibilities under the Clean Air Act are properly fulfilled,” Skunes said.
The bankruptcy court will make a decision on this settlement agreement on April 4. Yesterday, the bankruptcy court did approve the overall Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan for PES.
You can read the submitted comments here.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.