The National Biodiesel Board is asking EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to disclose any small refinery exemption petitions for RFS compliance years preceding 2019 that the Environmental Protection Agency received this year. In a letter to Wheeler, NBB also requests that EPA apply the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s ruling in Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA to all petitions submitted to the agency since January 24th of this year.
“The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry values and relies on your commitment to transparency regarding small refinery exemptions,” NBB writes, referring to Administrator Wheeler’s creation of the EPA Small Refinery Exemption dashboard. Noting that both Wheeler and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Mark Menezes responded to questions about “gap” petitions in May 20 testimony before two Senate committees, NBB writes, “It is concerning that no record of any of these petitions exists on the Agency’s dashboard.”
NBB further writes, “EPA’s first step upon receiving any petition for a small refinery exemption should be to evaluate its timeliness and validity before transmitting it to the Department of Energy.” The letter lays out arguments that considering “gap” petitions would be inconsistent with the 10th Circuit’s ruling, the Renewable Fuel Standard statute, and EPA’s own regulations and guidance. “Indeed, allowing gap filings would render the program entirely unpredictable for renewable fuel producers,” NBB writes.