NBB Continues Court Battle on RFS Waiver

The U.S. Court of Appeals must enforce its decision requiring the EPA to address an “improper” waiver of 500 million gallons of biofuel demand in the renewable volume obligation, the National Biodiesel Board and other groups say.

“EPA should not be allowed to hide behind claims that restoring 500 million improperly waived gallons is an administrative burden that would inconvenience oil industry interests,” the groups say in a statement issued after filing the brief on Jan. 7 in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia.

“What’s at stake is the proper implementation of the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] and the rural communities that rely on its success for their livelihood,” the groups say. “As we have made clear, EPA has had the ability and the authority to do the right thing and remedy these lost gallons immediately and on a definite schedule. EPA’s delay and disregard for the court’s directive for more than three years is inexcusable.” 

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 groups say in the statement. 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,” the groups note in their statement. “To date, EPA has failed to open any proceedings to reconsider the 2016 RVO and has not restored the 500 million lost RIN [Renewable Identification Number] gallons,” the groups say. 

In its latest brief the coalition says, “EPA’s delays in remedying the improper waiver are unreasonable and confirms that the court has the authority to require EPA to issue a 500 million gallon ‘curative obligation’ to make up lost gallons, and to do it now.”

Along with the NBB, the coalition includes Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers.

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