May 16th, 2013 by acttesoro
Periodically, ActTesoro.com provides updates on our current policy priorities. Congress and the Administration are working through various national issues. Those highlighted below are three that are “mission critical” to our business and customers.
Renewable Fuel Standard
In 2007, Congress expanded the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to require 36 billion gallons of conventional (corn) and advanced (cellulosic, biodiesel, and “drop-ins”) biofuel to be blended into America’s gasoline and diesel fuel supplies by 2022. Congress hoped that turning food, plants, and other bio-sources into alternative fuels would help achieve US energy independence and improve the environment, but it’s not working out that way. Conventional corn ethanol usage creates numerous problems and commercial supplies of advanced biofuels simply don’t exist due to technology shortfalls. The RFS was based on incorrect assumptions, has not achieved its stated objectives, and is now recognized to be hurting consumers at the grocery store and the gas pump.
Academics, consumer advocates, environmentalists, and economists are joining drivers, off-roaders, farmers, food providers, charities, recreational boaters, and many others in objecting to the costly economic effects, environmental harm, increased food prices, and harmful engine problems caused by the RFS. Tesoro supports efforts in Congress to repeal the failed Renewable Fuel Standard. Please visit smarterfuelfuture.org to learn more about what’s wrong with the RFS, and what needs to be done about it.
2011 tax collections, before refunds, drew $2.36 trillion dollars from our economy. That same year, the cost of regulation was estimated to be $1.82 trillion. Between 2009 and 2011, the US Office of Management and Budget estimated the added cost of just new regulations to be $39.3 billion; most of which were proposed by USEPA (see ActTesoro’s Regulatory Tidal Wave chart for examples). The federal government issued more than 175,000 rules, requiring 169,694 pages in the 2011 Code of Federal Regulations. Of these, nearly 25,000 were about the environment. Clearly, something is off kilter.
Few like the current structure and impact of America’s tax code. Many hope for a flatter, fairer, and more transparent system. Federal deficits, debt, and spending are driving Congress’s interest in tax reform. American companies already face some of the world’s highest corporate tax rates. The domestic oil and gas sector, including Tesoro, pays one of the highest effective tax rates compared to other US sectors. While Tesoro welcomes efforts to reform the federal tax code, we oppose efforts that would discriminate against our industry and other American manufacturers, especially if the efforts simply increase the funding of Washington’s already bloated bureaucracy.
Although Congress shows little appetite for another climate change debate, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is using its considerable power to address climate change through more and more regulations. Regulations impose costs on manufacturing and these costs ultimately affect all Americans by driving up the price of goods and services.
Tesoro recognizes the public’s concerns related to climate change. However, Tesoro also appreciates the need to encourage national economic and energy security through domestic energy development and reliability which is already driving America’s manufacturing renaissance. USEPA should not be jeopardizing that renaissance with regulations that are neither market-based nor built upon sound science capable of yielding real societal benefits. If climate change is to be addressed successfully, it will necessitate meaningful worldwide participation. Within our own country, improved transparency in USEPA’s rulemakings and fuller, better-balanced cost/benefit analyses – which are seen by close observers as wanting – would be an improvement. Fundamentally, the burdens of addressing climate change cannot unduly rest upon American citizens or businesses.
Act Tesoro appreciates the opportunity to keep you informed on some of the biggest issues facing our company, industry, and customers. Thanks for your interest!