Press releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in a letter that he will block the confirmation of department nominees until the USDA stops interfering with a program that protects Louisiana’s small refineries from financial devastation.

At issue are hardship waivers – called Small Refinery Exemptions – that give small refineries in Louisiana the ability to remain competitive against larger companies and further President Donald Trump’s initiative for the U.S. to be energy independent.  The USDA is reportedly involved in efforts to interfere with the Small Refinery Exemption program. Earlier this week, Sen. Kennedy joined other Republican senators in urging Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler to continue issuing the exemptions despite pressure from Democrats and special interest groups.

“Our nation’s refineries are economic engines that create jobs and support our mission to achieve energy independence.  The exemptions exist for a reason.  They are necessary to keep small refineries in business and protect tens of thousands of jobs across the U.S.,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “With all due respect, Secretary Perdue needs to stay out of this fight.”