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Administration Decides Against Appealing Renewable Fuels Decision
USAgNet - 03/26/2020

The National Biodiesel Board welcomed President Trump's decision not to join an appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit's ruling in Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA. The Court's January decision invalidated three small refinery exemptions that the Environmental Protection Agency granted retroactively for the 2016 Renewable Fuel Standards, ruling they were not extensions of existing exemptions as required by the language of the law.

The 10th Circuit Court further stated that EPA unlawfully considered factors outside the RFS and ignored evidence that refiners recoup any cost to comply with the program.

Although several petroleum refiners requested an en banc rehearing by the Circuit Court, NBB expects EPA to consider all pending 2019 exemption petitions in a manner consistent with the nationwide application of the 10th Circuit's decision.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, said, "NBB and its members greatly appreciate President Trump's commitment to support the biodiesel industry and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

"Last October, the President directed EPA to mitigate the damage to the industry and the RFS from small refinery exemptions.

"EPA should put an end to the unwarranted expansion of small refinery exemptions.

"EPA's small refinery exemptions destroyed demand for hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel over the past three years.

"Producers are still struggling to regain momentum and growth; a handful of facilities remain closed after shutting down last year.

"The industry is also facing the economic impacts of the coronavirus and the threat to U.S. energy security from foreign countries flooding the markets with cheap oil.

"Applying the Court's ruling nationwide would eliminate an unnecessary ongoing challenge for the industry."

Beginning with the 2016 RFS obligations, EPA rapidly expanded the number of small refinery exemptions.

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