IRFA Disappointed by Supreme Court Decision on RFS Exemptions
June 25, 2021
Other Key Parts of 10th Circuit Decision Still Restrict Future Refinery Exemption Extensions
Contact: Cassidy Walter
JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today on a 6 to 3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the U.S. 10th Circuit Court decision from last January that found refiners can only apply for an extension of an exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligation if they have continuously received refinery exemption extensions every year.
In response, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed the Supreme Court didn’t uphold the 10th Circuit Court ruling on eligibility to request RFS refinery exemption extensions. I am not a lawyer, but it sure seems like the 10th Circuit Court got it right when they determined that a refinery can’t extend something it no longer has. However, it is important to remember this case only applied to one of the three major findings from the 10th Circuit Court. Today’s decision allows refiners to apply to extend RFS exemptions that have lapsed. But this case did not impact the 10th Circuit’s ruling that refiners must still prove economic harm directly related to compliance with the RFS. Just as importantly, the 10th Circuit also found that EPA cannot use RIN costs as a cause of economic harm while simultaneously admitting RIN costs are recovered in the refiner’s crack spread. As the Biden EPA has pledged to follow the 10th Circuit Court ruling, today’s decision allows refiners to request an RFS exemption extension, but it does not make it easier for refiners to actually receive one. We fully expect the Biden EPA to keep their commitment to the RFS and to apply the 10th Circuit Court standards relating to economic harm, and as a result, to deny the vast majority of RFS exemption extension requests that are pending or that will be submitted in the future.”
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 410 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org.