Democratic members of the committee, meanwhile, suggested that petroleum refiners forced to shell out for costly replacement biodiesel credits have only themselves to blame for not exercising "due diligence" in checking out the companies they were buying from.
"Unfortunately, a few bad actors ... have created a crisis of confidence in the biofuels market that risks undermining the whole program," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat.
The complaints Wednesday echo comments made after the Clean Green Fuel trial by a top executive of Ocean Connect, the New York brokerage that bought the lion's share of the Baltimore company's phony credits.
Eric Rubury, the company's chief operating officer, said Ocean Connect relied in part on recommendations of others in doing business with Clean Green Fuel. He noted that Conoco Phillips, a major oil company, was buying the Baltimore firm's credits.
Since charges were filed last fall against Clean Green's founder, Rubury said, Ocean Connect has been sued by the companies to which it sold invalid biodiesel credits. Ocean Connect, in turn, has sued the EPA for its handling of the program. Meanwhile, Rubury said, the scandal has hurt his company's bottom line.
"Because of this entire catastrophe," he said, "the reality is that few parties wish to do business with Ocean Connect."
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