Biofuels Coalition Files Brief in Supreme Court Case

Cindy Zimmerman

The Biofuels Coalition, comprised of Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers Union filed a response brief this week in the Supreme Court case HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC, et al., v. Renewable Fuels Association, et al.

In the brief, the coalition argues in support of the challenged Tenth Circuit decision, which held that only small refineries that have remained continuously exempt from obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard program are eligible for future extensions of the compliance exemption.

“We believe the Tenth Circuit got it right the first time, and we will continue to defend the court’s ruling and stand up for the farmers and renewable fuel producers harmed by the granting of these illegal waivers,” the coalition said. “We strongly believe the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling is consistent with both the Clean Air Act and Congressional intent.”

The coalition underscored that the statute only authorizes extensions of the initial temporary exemption that Congress granted to all small refineries at the start of the RFS program. The brief also maintains that the structure and purpose of the temporary exemption were meant to serve as a “bridge to compliance” for all refineries, rather than a permanent regulatory relief program, as the refineries argued in their opening brief.

EPA announced last month that it had reviewed the Tenth Circuit’s decision and now supports the court’s interpretation. Oral arguments will be held on April 27.

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