Biofuel Leaders Urge Courts to Hold EPA Accountable

Biofuels and agricultural trade groups filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to enforce a 2017 decision. The decision requires the Environmental Protection Agency to address its waiver of 500 million gallons of biofuel demand in the 2016 renewable volume obligation (RVO).

The coalition, which includes Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition of Ethanol, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers, issued a joint statement following the Nov. 23 filing (it has been edited for length and clarity):

“It is simply unconscionable that EPA would so brazenly ignore a federal court’s order. The agency must do right by America’s farmers, 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 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.

In the motion, the coalition asks the court to:

Require EPA to issue a 500-million-gallon “curative obligation” on obligated parties to make up for the lost gallons;

Require EPA to do so no more than six months after the court’s order;

Require obligated parties to show compliance with the additional obligations no more than three months after EPA issues the curative obligation; and

Declare that it will not extend these deadlines.

Read the motion as filed here.

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