Farm and biofuels leaders say it’s way past time for EPA to act on a court order from 2017 and they are going back to the court to make it happen.
A coalition of biofuels and agricultural trade groups filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Monday asking the court to enforce its 2017 decision requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of biofuel demand in the 2016 renewable volume obligation (RVO).
The coalition, which includes the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers, issued a statement following the filing:
“It is simply unconscionable that EPA would so brazenly ignore a federal court’s order. The agency must do right by America’s farmers and biofuel producers and supporters. Together, our coalition represents millions of rural families, who should not have to resort to more court proceedings to hold EPA accountable to the law. It’s well past overdue that EPA restore the 500 million gallons and focus on restoring integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
In the July 2017 ruling of the case Americans for Clean Energy et al. v. EPA et al., the court invalidated the EPA’s improper waiver of 500 million gallons in the 2016 RVO and ordered EPA to revisit the rule. The court held that EPA’s interpretation of the “inadequate domestic supply” waiver provision “runs contrary to how the Renewable Fuel Program is supposed to work.” To date, EPA has failed to open any proceedings to reconsider the 2016 RVO, and has not restored the 500 million lost RIN gallons.
Specifically, the coalition is asking the court to require EPA to issue a 500 million gallon “curative obligation” on obligated parties to make up for the lost gallons no more than 6 months after the court’s order; require obligated parties to show compliance with the additional obligations no more than 3 months after EPA issues the curative obligation; and feclare that it will not extend these deadlines.