Court Rejects Appeal on RFS Exemptions

Apr 09, 2020

A U.S. federal court this week rejected a challenge from two oil refining companies to its January ruling that the EPA overstepped its use of small refinery waivers (SREs). According to Reuters, the ruling means EPA must cut the number of waivers it grants to small refineries.

Two oil refineries filed petitions to ask the federal appeals court to reconsider after the court ruled in January that EPA cannot legally extend exemptions to small refineries whose previous, temporary exemptions had expired.

Soy growers and biodiesel leaders have repeatedly voiced concerns over the abuse of small refinery waivers, urging President Trump to uphold his promise to support farmers and the RFS. ASA and industry partners urged the President to stand up against “this misguided effort to torpedo the rural recovery” and stated prolonging the demand struggle with EPA would be “viewed as a stunning betrayal of America’s rural workers and farmers.”

Initially, the Administration had vowed not to join an appeal of the 10th Circuit's ruling in Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA. It then waffled, implying it may choose to appeal, finally letting the deadline pass last week.

Excessive use of small refinery waivers undercuts the purpose of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), stifling biodiesel growth and delivering another economic blow to soy growers during an already rocky time in agriculture.

ASA supports a healthy RFS that reflects the expansion of the renewable fuels industry for biodiesel and ethanol.