EPA asked to restore 500 million gal. of lost biofuel demand from 2016.

November 23, 2020

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A coalition of the nation’s largest biofuel 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 its 2017 decision requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address the improper waiver of 500 million gal. of biofuel demand in the 2016 renewable volume obligation (RVO).

In the July 2017 ruling in the case Americans for Clean Energy et al. vs. EPA et al., the court invalidated EPA’s waiver of 500 million gal. in the 2016 RVO and ordered the agency 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 gal. in lost demand.

The coalition – which includes Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Assn., National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union and National Sorghum Producers – issued a joint statement saying: “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 gal. and focus on restoring integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

In the motion filed Nov. 22, the coalition asked the court to:

  • Require EPA to issue a 500 million gal. “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.

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