NBB asks EPA for transparency on “gap” SRE petitions
The National Biodiesel Board is asking the EPA to be transparent in listing small refinery exemption petitions and applying the 10th Circuit Court ruling on all of them. Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs, says no record of the so-called “gap” petitions exists although EPA’s Administrator and the head of the Department of Energy testified last month that they were considering them.
Kovarik tells Brownfield Ag News, if granted, those exemptions would not only defy the appeals court ruling but the RFS statute itself and propel more legal action, “I don’t think there would be any doubt, if EPA were to begin considering and granting waiver requests for many years gone by, there’s no doubt that that would be viewed as illegal and subject to court challenge.”
But, Kovarik says it’s become a sad commentary in D.C. that EPA, to some extent, feels it can do whatever it wants on implementation of the RFS because even if it’s sued and loses it will be multiple years before anything’s done.
“For example, there was a court case where EPA delayed and made a wrong decision on how they set volumes way back in 2015/’16. The court decision was decided in August of ’17 and EPA, still to this day, has not done what the court told them.”
In addition to the Biodiesel board’s letter, the Renewable Fuels Association has written to EPA Administrator Wheeler – both groups saying all waiver requests should be denied and the appeals court decision applied nationally.