No SRE Appeal

Mar 26, 2020

While all the world continues to keep an eye on COVID-19, biofuel groups, ASA, and other interested parties were also busy watching the deadline for the Trump administration to appeal the 10th Circuit case that struck down three small refinery exemptions (SREs) from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  The Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association and National Farmers Union filed the 10th circuit case to curtail SREs and strengthen the RFS, but that unanimous court decision has been open to appeal.

The Trump administration this week let the March 24 appeal deadline come and go, pleasing those biofuel groups involved, but two oil refineries have filed petitions to ask the federal appeals court to reconsider its decision restricting EPA’s ability to grant waivers. The court ruled in January that EPA cannot legally extend exemptions to small refineries whose previous, temporary exemptions had expired. That court ruling is significant for how waivers may be treated going forward.

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 this week. The President has vowed for months to support the biodiesel industry and push EPA to restrict SREs.