EPA States Position on RFS Exemptions Before the Supreme Court


The Environmental Protection Agency filed a brief with the Supreme Court last week that lays out its new position on the Renewable Fuel Standard. A DTN report says the brief covered EPA’s view of the scope and purpose of the RFS, stating that three refiners who received RFS exemptions in 2017 and 2018 didn’t qualify for them.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that the agency violated the law when it granted the exemptions during the Trump administration. The January 2020 ruling led biofuel groups to push the former administration to apply the ruling nationally. The EPA brief also says that few refiners would be eligible for extensions if the law is followed. The Trump EPA granted 88 small-refinery exemptions between 2016 and 2020.

The Tenth Circuit Court remanded three exemptions granted to refiners in Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Utah. In February of this year, the Biden EPA reversed the previous administration’s course and sided with the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling. Also in the Supreme Court brief, the EPA says the exemptions program was put into the RFS as a “bridge toward eventual compliance” for small refineries.