NBB again defends RFS in federal court
As the petroleum industry continues to sue the U.S. EPA over the renewable fuel standard (RFS), the National Biodiesel Board is actively engaged in helping to defend the law in court. In the latest case, attorneys for NBB delivered oral arguments on April 7 alongside the EPA and Department of Justice in support of the 2013 RFS volumes, particularly the advanced biofuel standard.
The case, brought by oil refiner Monroe Energy LLC and pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, has significant implications for the future of advanced biofuels because we believe it will affirm the EPA’s obligation to maintain the required statutory volumes amid persistent, unsupported calls to reduce those volumes.
Monroe Energy, joined by the American Petroleum Institute and other groups, challenged the EPA’s handling of the 2013 volume requirements. While a number of renewable fuels groups have joined the case, NBB was the only renewable fuels group to present oral argument alongside the EPA. NBB was represented in court by Bingham McCutchen, the law firm that has successfully handled RFS litigation for NBB since the law’s implementation.
Among the arguments supporting the EPA’s position, NBB pointed out that the petroleum industry’s challenge makes no argument that insufficient volumes of renewable fuels were available in 2013 and fundamentally misinterprets the EPA’s authority to waive volume requirements under the law. NBB maintains that the EPA’s 2013 standards achieved the directives of Congress.
The Monroe case is the fifth case involving the RFS in which NBB has intervened since 2011. All of the cases have been resolved favorably in EPA’s favor, except a case decided in 2013 involving cellulosic ethanol standards. NBB will continue to support biodiesel producers by defending the RFS on all fronts.