The ethanol industry was pleased to hear Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is denying petitions for retroactive small refinery waivers for the 2011-18 compliance years.
The Renewable Fuels Association welcomed the news that EPA is denying 54 “gap-year” small refinery exemption petitions and will deny the remaining 14 petitions once they are received from the Department of Energy. In announcing its decision, EPA acknowledged that it would be completely inappropriate to grant a waiver to a refinery for a compliance obligation from many years ago, especially when the refinery had already fully complied with the obligation.
EPA also cited the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision from January as an important consideration in rejecting the waiver petitions. Importantly, EPA is applying these petition denials nationally. RFA led the litigation in the Tenth Circuit, while the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and American Coalition for Ethanol were co-petitioners.
“The petitions were never anything more than an absurd and bizarre attempt by the refineries to circumvent the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision in the Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA case,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This should serve as the final nail in the coffin of these gap-year petitions, and we are eager to put this dark and sordid chapter in the history of the RFS behind us once and for all.”
Cooper also thanked President Trump for taking an active role in helping to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
RFA CEO statement on gap year waiver denials (1:20)