Supreme Court Will Hear RFS Waiver Case

Cindy Zimmerman

Late Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the 10th Circuit Court decision made a year ago this month that invalidated several small refinery exemptions issued by EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The decision is in response to a petition submitted in September by HollyFrontier Corporation and CVR Energy, two of the refineries named in the case.

The 10th Circuit Court decided unanimously in favor of the petitioners – the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and American Coalition for Ethanol – determining that EPA abused its authority by granting small refinery exemptions that were not extensions of previously existing exemptions. In April, the Tenth Circuit denied the refiners’ request to re-hear the case.

When the refiners petitioned the Supreme Court in September, the biofuels coalition said there was no reason for further review or consideration of the ruling. “It is well-reasoned and based on a plain reading of the Clean Air Act, which clearly intended small refinery exemptions to be temporary and used only as a ‘bridge to compliance’ for certain eligible small refineries. Additionally, there are no conflicting decisions in other federal courts of appeal.”

No date was set for oral arguments.

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