Wanted to update this story from earlier: “The Most Transparent Administration EVER strikes again“.
If you didn’t read that post (and honestly, you probably should…..), the two big questions arising from it were:
- What was the NAME of the refinery which was singled-out to receive a hugely beneficial waiver from Federal Ethanol renewable fuels requirements, and
- Why did that refinery, and ONLY that refinery, qualify?
Well, it seems that the Wall Street Journal was able to find 1-out-of-2: we now have a name. Unfortunately, that name doesn’t exactly remove the mystery from this newest demonstration of Obama-era ‘transparency’:
(WSJ.com) – Further reporting has revealed that the refinery is Alon USA Energy‘s Krotz Springs facility in Louisiana. There’s reason to wonder why Krotz Springs alone got a deal.
A New York Stock Exchange-listed company, Alon isn’t exactly a mom-and-pop outfit.
Krotz Springs is a merchant refinery, and the ethanol mandate takes a particularly hard toll on such outfits. Alon earlier this month reported a big hit to its second-quarter earnings, partly due to what it estimates this year will be $20 million in ethanol-credit expenses. So yes, Krotz Springs is hurt by the rule.
Then again, so are other refineries. What particularly burned the industry about this exemption is that the EPA is requiring the rest of the industry (including other small, struggling refineries) to pay to cover the Krotz Springs pass.
Of course, in the absence of information, we have to look at what we do know. And what we do know is that there are the expected associations present in the case of Alon USA Energy: connections to lobbyists, influential politicians, and powerful firms like Goldman Sachs, which Ms. Strassel details in her post.
Predictably, the EPA maintains that it has a series of rationales, metrics, and recommendations which determine its selection of Alon. However, we’ve heard that one before: Solyndra, anyone?
Further, since we aren’t being told what those specific rationales, metrics or recommendations are, this process smells more than a little funky. As Strassel emphasizes:
Perhaps Krotz Springs is facing a financial challenge that dwarfs that of other small refineries. Perhaps the EPA conducted a careful analysis, devoid of political pressure.
The problem is we don’t know. The EPA, citing confidentiality restrictions, won’t explain the process. We are to trust that it did the right thing. Yet this is the same Obama administration that has spent years doling out billions in grants and loans to politically connected energy companies and junking federal rules to help favored players.
Why trust the EPA now?
This Administration long ago lost their right to be given the benefit of the doubt. Which may be why they are behaving this way, more and more. They know no one believes them, so their response is now that of the typical tyrant: “Fine, you don’t believe us. So what??”
In a different age, I’d have replied that our Representative Republic included several remedies that could, should and would be pursued. But now, in the Age of Obama, …with Congress having become little more than his ‘court eunuch’??
Chillingly, the Administration’s lawless arrogance may well be deserved.
We ALL know that there is only ONE reason you keep such details shrouded in secrecy, and it is that the REAL story will be an embarrassment to the administration, revealing more waste, fraud, and cronyism.
That’s what I’m thinking, Pgh.
If someone can come up with another reasonable explanation, I’m all ears…
Of course I don’t really “like” this post, but I applaud you as usual, bro, for putting the truth out there where more of us can be informed. Great job!
Not much fun writing these, but I’m stunned it hasn’t been picked up by ANY site other than WSJ…
Laws? What laws?
How many forests must die supplying paper solely for all the FOIA requests this administration generates?
We don’t need new rockets for the space program. Just stack all the FOIA requests submitted to this administration on top of one another and we can climb to the moon.
Well, we could get it close, but with us always rotating, we’d probably have to just leave it a couple feet short and then jump the rest of the way…
Its so reminiscent of Clintons, isn’t it? Only they excavated a few more levels beneath that. Now , faced with mountains of damning facts, they say anything is a phony scandal — manufactured by Republicans. All of them are phony scandals (mantra I first noticed on MSNBC – days later from Art Carney).
So welcome to phonyvillle. Everything is phony, all make believe. But it begs the question what something has to look like for them to admit it is a real “scandal”? .Whoa, that’s deep! (we’re getting there)
It’s just so infuriating and frustrating that no one takes this administration to task for it’s lawlessness. It’s just so unbelievable. Where is the press? (I know). Where is the Speaker of the House? Where are the Republicans? Where are the righteous people in politics, business, religious organizations? Where is the voice of the people?
OK, thanks for letting me get that out of my system.