By Daniel Stefanski |
An Arizona lawmaker is calling out Governor Katie Hobbs for rising gas prices.
On Friday, Senator Jake Hoffman issued a press release, which highlighted “disturbing details…over what Katie Hobbs knew about Arizona’s fuel supply, and the fallout of crippling gas prices from her inaction, after concerns were raised over a major shortage.”
Hoffman’s release originated from reports that a letter had been sent to Hobbs in March by independent petroleum refiner HF Sinclair, warning the state’s chief executive “of a critical supply shortage in Arizona due to an unexpected equipment failure stopping the production of ‘Cleaner Burning Gasoline’ (CBG) required by the Biden Administration in Maricopa County, as well as parts of Pinal and Yavapai Counties.” Hoffman revealed that HF Sinclair had “asked Hobbs to seek a waiver on that requirement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the Hobbs Administration denied that request, baselessly claiming the EPA wouldn’t approve it.”
The state senator put Governor Hobbs on blast for this inaction, asserting that her constituents would pay a literal price for this decision: “Katie Hobbs’ incompetence as Arizona’s Governor continues to take center stage, and hardworking Arizonans are paying the price for it. The average price for a gallon of gas right now in Maricopa County is a full $1 higher than the national average. This is extra money that could help with groceries, medications and other necessities many of our taxpayers are having a difficult time affording because of the Biden Administration’s reckless policies leading to historic inflation. Hobbs had an opportunity to do the right thing by requesting this waiver to allow prices at the pump to drop, but she instead chose to selfishly play political games with the livelihoods of our citizens by refusing to back down from her woke ‘green’ agenda to appeal to her far-Left base. Katie, this is not California. In Arizona, we put families first.”
Senator Hoffman’s release shared part of the letter from HF Sinclair, where the refiner argued that Hobbs would be within her right to seek the waiver from the EPA, writing, “Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 7545(c)(4)(C)(ii), EPA may temporarily waive a control or prohibition respecting the use of a fuel when extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances prevent the distribution of an adequate supply to consumers. EPA may grant such a waiver where such circumstances are the result of a natural disaster, Act of God, refinery equipment failure, or another event that could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented, and where doing so would be in the public interest (e.g., when a waiver is necessary to meet projected temporary shortfalls in fuel supply in a state or region). Such circumstances presently exist in Arizona.”
The Hobbs’ Administration may not have been willing to pursue this waiver to help Arizonans at the gas pumps – something that can’t be said about the Biden Administration, which had another opportunity to lower fuel prices earlier this year. Last month, the EPA issued “an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 gasoline – gasoline blended with 15% ethanol – to be sold during the summer driving season.” According to the EPA, “the waiver will help protect Americans from fuel supply crises by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, building U.S. energy independence, and supporting American agriculture and manufacturing.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.