Ethanol groups take EPA to court over refinery exemptions

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

May 31 (Renewables Now) - A coalition of ethanol groups has filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over granting "secretive" waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to profitable refining companies.    

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and National Farmers Union (NFU), with support of Farmers Union Enterprises, lodged the suit on Tuesday in the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. The organisations are challenging three waivers provided to the refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, owned by a subsidiary of CVR Energy Inc (NYSE:CVI), and the refineries in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Woods Cross, Utah, which are owned by Holly Frontier Corp (NYSE:HFC). They say these waivers represent abuses of EPA's authority to exempt certain small refineries. 

"EPA left us with no choice but to challenge their systematic cuts to ethanol blending in the U.S. by distorting the intent of the law to grant secret hardship waivers to refineries which in some cases exceed the definition of ‘small’ and fall short of demonstrating ‘disproportionate economic hardship,’"said Brian Jennings, chief executive of ACE.

The groups say that while until late last year, EPA granted a handful of exemptions per year, it has provided over two dozen exemptions in recent months.

The Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) filed lawsuit against EPA over small refinery exemptions in early May.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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