BISMARCK – North Dakota's Junior Senator has lead a bipartisan charge to roll back EPA oversights on some gas plants across the nation.

Republican Senator Kevin Cramer, member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania John Joyce, M.D. led 83 bicameral colleagues on a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging it to withdraw portions of a proposal which would place more stringent vapor emissions requirements on small gasoline bulk plants.

The rule would lower compliance thresholds using plants’ theoretical maximum design capacities, rather than their actual throughput. If finalized, it could drive compliance costs, impact regular service, and during emergencies, choke off supplies to entire communities. As such, the group also suggested the EPA convene a Small Business Advocacy Review panel to engage energy marketers in a conversation about the proposal’s consequences.

“The EPA’s overzealous proposed rule could have disastrous consequences for North Dakotans. Small, family-owned gasoline bulk storage plants are a critical part of the fuel distribution system in rural areas,” said Senator Cramer. “If finalized, this proposal would either force increased costs on consumers or the closure of storage facilities. It’s a lose-lose for everyone involved, and the EPA should withdraw the rule.”

“Ensuring that rural gas stations have the necessary supply to meet demand is essential for our families, farmers, and emergency services providers,” said Dr. Joyce. “This issue transcends political divides, and it's time for the EPA to withdraw provisions of the proposed NESHAP rule that apply to small bulk plant facilities and put our gasoline supply at risk.”

As well, the effort has garnered support from state stakeholder groups.

“The ND Petroleum Marketers Association applauds Senator Cramer for taking the lead on getting the EPA to withdraw this potential rule relating to gas vapor recovery at bulk plants. This financially onerous rule needs to be vetted much more thoroughly by all involved parties to ensure the best interests of the business communities and consumers are being met. This is critically important to rural states like North Dakota. If enacted in its current state, this rule would cost petroleum marketers millions of dollars to comply. The high cost of upgrading sites would likely lead to some bulk fuel dealers discontinuing the sale of gasoline, potentially creating gasoline deserts in rural parts of the state. An agriculture rich state like North Dakota can’t take that chance,” said Mike Rud, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers.

“Thank you to Congressman Joyce and Senator Cramer for leading this effort. Pennsylvania has the third-largest rural population in the country with more than 3 million people living in rural areas. This proposed regulation would have unintended consequences for family-owned energy providers who rely on bulk storage to efficiently supply the gasoline needs of farmers, first responders, and other consumers in their local communities,” said Ted Harris, Executive Vice President of the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association.

Joining Senator Cramer are Senators Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Ted Budd (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Boozman (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), James Lankford (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Rounds (R-SD), John Thune (R-SD), and Katie Britt (R-AL).

Joining Congressman Joyce are Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Mike Ezell (R-MS), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), Marcus J. Molinaro (R-NY), Mike Flood (R-NE), Greg Pence (R-IN), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Steve Womack (R-AR), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Richard Hudson (R-NC), William Timmons (R-SC), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Randy Weber (R-TX), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Earl L. “Buddy Carter (R-GA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Andy Barr (R-KY), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Tom Cole (R-OK), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), David Rouzer (R-NC), John Rose (R-TN), Troy Balderson (R-OH), John P. Moolenaar (R-MI), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Rick W. Allen (R-GA), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Garret Graves (R-LA), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Nick Langworthy (R-NY), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), Brad Finstad (R-MN), and Lauren Boebert (R-CO).

Click here to read the letter.

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