US EPA discloses flood of 52 gap SRE petitions from 2011-’18

By The National Biodiesel Board | June 18, 2020

The National Biodiesel Board called on U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to immediately reject the flood of 52 small refinery exemption petitions for compliance years preceding 2019 disclosed June 18. NBB renewed its request that EPA apply the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's ruling in Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA to all pending exemption petitions.

“EPA’s consideration of small refinery exemption petitions going back to 2011 flies in the face of the recent Tenth Circuit decision,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “By rolling back the clock, there appears to be no length EPA won’t go to help refiners undermine the RFS. Make no mistake—this handout to the oil industry comes at the expense of biodiesel producers and soybean farmers across the country, and particularly the Midwest. Allowing these gap filings renders the program completely unpredictable for renewable fuel producers. The agency must immediately reject these petitions to restore confidence that it will abide by the law in administering the RFS.”

In a June 1 letter to Wheeler, NBB wrote, “EPA’s first step upon receiving any petition for a small refinery exemption should be to evaluate its timeliness and validity before transmitting it to the Department of Energy.” The letter makes the case that “gap” petitions or resubmissions of previously rejected petitions are inconsistent with the Tenth Circuit’s ruling.

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