EPA reverses course, agrees with 10th Circuit Court’s SRE decision

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EPA reverses course, agrees with 10th Circuit Court’s SRE decision

The EPA Monday reversed course and came out in favor of the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling on ethanol small refinery waivers.  Brian Jennings with the American Coalition for Ethanol says that’s the outcome they wanted when the industry sued the EPA a year ago. “That 10th Circuit is now going to be heard by the Supreme Court this spring, but EPA has come out even before the Supreme Court takes this case up and says we have reversed our position.   We now agree that we need to reign in these Small Refinery Exemptions.”

Jennings tells Brownfield the Supreme Court could still possibly throw out the 10th Circuit’s unanimous decision later this spring. “One possibility is the Supreme Court rules against us, but another possibility is the Supreme Court affirms and indeed underscores the importance of our victory in the 10th Circuit, and I think having the Biden EPA come out and clearly say we don’t want to handle these Small Refinery Exemptions the way the Trump EPA did is very helpful for us as well.”

Jennings says ending the so-called gap year waivers is only part of what EPA needs to work on. “The Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO’s) for 2021 and ’22.  There are the issues of these small refinery exemption recovery gallons.  There’s the court case we won back in 2017 requiring EPA to restore 500-million gallons to the 2016 RFS, so there are a number of things they need to address.”

For consumers, Jennings says the EPA’s decision should begin to add value to the Renewable Identification Number or RIN credits, making them more attractive for refiners which should lower their cost and save customers money at the pump.