ACE reaction to EPA’s RFS compliance flexibility announcement
Posted on 03/27/2020
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced several steps it will take to ease enforcement in the gasoline supply chain in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, including actions regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA stated it “does not intend to unilaterally revisit or rescind any previously granted small refinery exemptions issued for prior compliance years,” the Agency “intends to extend the [March 31] RFS compliance date for small refineries to provide them with additional flexibility,” and it plans to develop "an appropriate implementation and enforcement response" to the January 24th ruling from the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (limiting EPA’s authority to grant Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs)) once pending refiner appeals have been resolved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement in reaction to EPA’s announcement:
“As our plaintiff group said on Wednesday of this week, we appreciate the Trump Administration’s decision not to appeal our victory regarding SREs under the RFS in the Tenth Circuit Court. While we urge EPA to immediately announce it will apply the Tenth Circuit’s precedent nationwide, ensuring a more legally-sensible approach to SREs going forward, it’s disappointing to learn the Agency prefers to punt this decision until the Tenth Circuit has deliberated on the appeal by HollyFrontier and CVR. We continue to believe the appeal by HollyFrontier and CVR has no merit. We fully expect EPA to comply with the law and end the mismanagement of the RFS. The economic fall-out of COVID-19 is doing substantial damage to the ethanol industry and we expect the Trump Administration to leave no stone unturned in responding instead of only benefiting oil at the expense of rural America."