NBB Disappointed in Court Ruling on 2018 Biomass-based Diesel Volume

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dismissed the National Biodiesel Board’s petition as a policy disagreement with EPA’s choice of biomass-based diesel volumes. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) expressed disappointment in a Court ruling that upholds the Environmental Protection Agency’s method for setting biomass-based diesel volumes in the 2017 RFS rules.

In the same decision, the Court rejected refiners’ arguments that they are burdened by RIN prices and that EPA should change the point of obligation. The Court further rejected arguments that the 2017 RFS volumes were set too high and that EPA should have used additional waiver authority.

“The Court’s decision is disappointing. It fails to consider the obvious flaw in EPA’s choice of biomass-based diesel volumes for 2018, which was set a year in advance of the other annual volumes,” Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, said. “The Court found persuasive EPA’s promise to allow growth for biodiesel and renewable diesel under the yet-to-be-set 2018 advanced biofuel.”

Kovarik stated there was one bright spot in the ruling. The Court agreed EPA’s evidence that refiners are not harmed by the cost of RINs. The ruling highlights, “the disparity between EPA’s findings and its current practice of granting hardship exemptions to every refinery that asks.”

“EPA’s small refinery exemptions have caused severe economic hardships for biodiesel and renewable diesel producers, forcing some to close their doors and lay off workers,” said Kovarik. “EPA must put the RFS program back on track.”