A biofuels' coalition has thanked eight states who are challenging three federal small-refinery exemptions that could set a precedent for future exemption requests.
The court case, HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Association, will determine whether the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to enact small-refinery waivers, which allow oil companies to avoid blending ethanol into its fuel.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Farmers Union (NFU), and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) thanked the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota and Virginia for supporting the coalition’s arguments in the Supreme Court.
HollyFrontier and other refiners are asking the court to overturn the January 2020 ruling, in which the court found EPA exceeded its authority in granting certain small refinery waivers.
Recognising that “the renewable fuel and agriculture industries are the cornerstone of the economies of many states,” the brief from the states concludes that “the judgment of the court of appeals should be affirmed”.
“These industries — and the rural economies that they anchor — have grown over the past 16 years in reliance on the promise of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” according to the states’ brief. “And all States have an interest in the environmental benefits and energy independence that the RFS promises to achieve. But the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent trend of freely granting small-refinery exemptions has undermined these promises.”
The RFA, NCGA, NFU, and ACE issued the following statement: “The biofuels respondents appreciate the support of the broad array of interests that have been harmed by these unauthorized small refinery exemptions.
“As the filings make clear, the exemptions have had a devastating effect on rural economies and on the demand for all types of renewable fuels. We remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will affirm the Tenth Circuit’s well-reasoned decision, and we are very grateful that these states and other renewable fuel and agriculture interests have stepped up to endorse the decision as well.”
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