The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today joined ethanol and farm groups welcoming the Trump administration’s decision not to seek a re-hearing of a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that struck down certain small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). On January 24, a panel of Tenth Circuit judges unanimously ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had vastly exceeded its authority in granting exemptions from 2016 and 2017 RFS requirements to three refineries.
“EPA’s decision not to appeal the Tenth Circuit decision means EPA’s abuse of RFS waivers should be significantly reduced going forward, preventing further demand destruction. Ethanol is an incredibly important market for corn farmers that makes fuel cleaner, and it is imperative EPA now follow the Court’s direction and implement the RFS as intended. Farmers are pleased the Administration did not appeal the Tenth Circuit ruling and we urge EPA to apply this decision nationwide to all waiver petitions,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross.
NCGA, along with the Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union, brought the challenge against EPA in May 2018 in response to the massive demand destruction caused by the Agency’s illegal and indiscriminate use of SREs.
“We are pleased the Trump administration has decided not to side with oil refiners in seeking a re-hearing of this unambiguous and well-reasoned court decision in the Tenth Circuit. We trust this also means the administration does not plan to petition the Supreme Court for an appeal. Abiding by the court’s ruling is the right thing to do at a time when our industries and rural America are already suffering from the effects of COVID-19, the Saudi-Russia oil price war and ongoing trade disputes. We look to the RFS as a source of demand stability and certainty, especially in these troubling times. Requesting a re-hearing would have only prolonged uncertainty in the marketplace and exacerbated the pain and frustration already being experienced in the Heartland. With this key milestone now behind us, we look forward to EPA applying the Tenth Circuit decision nationwide to all SRE petitions, beginning with the 25 pending petitions for 2019 exemptions,” the renewable fuels coalition said in a statement.