Today, a coalition of the nation’s largest biofuels and agricultural trade groups filed its reply in support of its motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. The motion, originally filed on November 23, 2020, asks the court to enforce its 2017 decision requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of biofuel demand in the 2016 renewable volume obligation (RVO).
The coalition, which includes the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers, issued a statement following the filing:
“EPA should not be allowed to hide behind claims that restoring 500 million improperly waived gallons is an administrative burden that would inconvenience oil industry interests. What’s at stake is the proper implementation of the RFS and the rural communities that rely on its success for their livelihood. As we have made clear, EPA has had the ability and the authority to do the right thing and remedy these lost gallons immediately and on a definite schedule. EPA’s delay and disregard for the court’s directive for more than three years is inexcusable.”
In the July 2017 ruling of the case Americans for Clean Energy et al. v. EPA et al., the court invalidated the EPA’s improper waiver of 500 million gallons in the 2016 RVO and ordered EPA to revisit the rule. The court held that EPA’s interpretation of the “inadequate domestic supply” waiver provision “runs contrary to how the Renewable Fuel Program is supposed to work.” To date, EPA has failed to open any proceedings to reconsider the 2016 RVO and has not restored the 500 million lost RIN gallons.
In the reply brief filed today, the coalition reasserts that EPA’s delays in remedying the improper waiver are unreasonable and confirms that the court has the authority to require EPA to issue a 500 million gallon “curative obligation” to make up lost gallons, and to do it now.