A coalition of ethanol and farm groups sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday opposing the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) recent petition requesting reconsideration of the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) final rule.
API claims reconsideration of the 2020 RFS rule is necessary in light of the coalition’s recent Tenth Circuit court victory that overturned small refinery exemptions illegally granted by EPA. The successful Tenth Circuit court challenge was brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and American Coalition for Ethanol.
Specifically, API argues that the 2020 RFS rule should be revised to eliminate measures that prospectively “reallocate” RFS blending obligations expected to be lost to refinery waivers. API claims reallocation of expected waivers is no longer needed because the Tenth Circuit decision should significantly curtail the number of waivers granted. However, EPA has not yet confirmed that it will implement the tenets of the Tenth Circuit court decision nationwide, meaning reconsideration of the 2020 RFS rule would be woefully premature.
“There is no basis for revisiting or modifying EPA’s current approach until EPA acknowledges that the central tenets of the Tenth Circuit’s decision are appropriately applied throughout the country,” the groups wrote.
In fact, the 2020 RFS volumes should not be adjusted downward to remove reallocated volumes even after EPA applies the Tenth Circuit court decision nationally, according to the coalition’s letter.
“As noted by the Court, EPA’s recent abuse of its small refinery exemption authority has significantly harmed the U.S. ethanol industry. Indeed, nationally, more than four billion gallons of 2016-2018 renewable fuel volume requirements were lost due to EPA’s illegally issued small refinery waivers. Applying the Tenth Circuit decision nationally while leaving the 2020 RFS rule intact would begin to restore a small amount of the renewable fuel volume requirements lost to past small refinery exemptions; still, doing so would come nowhere near fully redressing the demand destruction wrought by the exemptions.”