America’s fuel and petrochemical manufacturers will continue a trajectory of growth and prosperity provided government advances a more balanced regulatory environment. As the voice of more than 400 companies in the refining and petrochemical industry, AFPM is committed to advocating for a national energy policy that is comprehensive, forward-looking and takes into account America’s new role as a global energy leader. To do that, we need a regulatory strategy that achieves our shared security, environmental and safety objectives but in a way that provides more certainty to industry, fewer unnecessary costs, and greater assurance that the regulations do not conflict with each other and achieve their intended purpose. We have made progress in some areas:
AFPM has long advocated for national fuels policies that are implementable, reflect a free market economy and a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, and provide benefits above costs. The federal biofuels mandate, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), is a policy that does not uphold these tenets. In 2014, EPA recognized that these mandates are unachievable when it proposed to waive the total and advanced biofuel portion of the RFS for the first time, citing the reality of vehicle and infrastructure constraints to handling greater concentrations of ethanol in the fuel supply. This is an important first step and AFPM hopes policymakers will listen to the growing chorus agreeing that the RFS needs full repeal or at a minimum significant overhaul.
Chemical Facility Security
In 2014, Congress came together to develop and pass a more efficient and effective chemical security bill. The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) is a bipartisan solution to safeguard chemical facilities and provides industry with the stability and certainty it needs to ensure long-term, sound facility security investments.
European Fuel Quality Directive
U.S. exports of diesel fuel to the European Union will not be hindered thanks to the efforts of a multi-stakeholder coalition that worked to prevent proposed modifications to the European Fuel Quality Directive. Left unchecked, this directive would have severely restricted opportunities for America’s refiners to compete on a level playing field.
But there is still more work to do:
Renewable Fuel Standard
The refining industry faces much uncertainty regarding RFS obligations. Despite EPA’s proposal, the agency failed to issue the final 2014 RFS requirements, nor has it set the 2015 volumes. Policymakers in the Administration and Congress must support the bipartisan movement that has begun and overhaul or repeal this program.
Ozone NAAQS + Greenhouse Gas Regulations
EPA’s proposed Ozone and Greenhouse Gas regulations are both costly and conflicting. Any process to achieve such stringent ozone requirements will require more energy and will increase greenhouse gas emissions. The United States has reduced ozone levels by 33 percent since 198012 and this trend will continue under the existing standard, without new restrictions that may end up being unachievable.
AFPM continues to advocate for pro-growth, national tax policies that treat all manufacturers fairly and makes the United States an attractive place to do business, especially for the capital intensive manufacturing sector.
Refineries that ship America’s increasing crude supply by rail are continuing to enhance their fleets to increase safety. Any new regulations regarding the transport of crude oil will need to be done in a cost-efficient manner while yielding significant safety benefits.