Peterson Leads Biofuels Caucus Letter Urging Administration to Uphold 10th Circuit Court Ruling on Ethanol Waivers
March 18, 2020
Congressman Collin Peterson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, joined fellow Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Biofuels Caucus to send a letter to President Donald Trump today regarding the recent Tenth Circuit Court decision that invalidated three Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard and criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of these waivers for small oil refineries.
The Caucus letter strongly urges the Administration to forgo an appeal of the 10th Circuit Court's decision and to apply the ruling across the country.
“EPA’s rampant and inappropriate use of SREs in recent years has reduced demand for American biofuels and weakened the RFS. We ask that you direct EPA to respect the unanimous court decision by applying its ruling nationwide and end the agency’s destructive interpretation of the RFS,” the lawmakers wrote. “Farmers and biofuel producers are hurting as a result of decisions made by EPA and action by your office is needed to uphold the law in a fair and consistent manner."
The 10th Circuit Court recently handed the biofuels industry a major victory by ruling that EPA exceeded its authority by inappropriately granting new Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) from Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) blending requirements. The ruling invalidated the three SREs that were the subject of the case and put pressure on EPA to apply the ruling to SREs across the country. Nationwide application of this decision would invalidate many more unwarranted SREs and be a great step toward restoring the integrity of the RFS.
The Administration has indicated that it is considering an appeal of the 10th Circuit’s decision, threatening this positive verdict. Biofuel and agriculture groups are urging the Administration to let the ruling stand, as nationwide application of this ruling would boost biofuel producers and commodity growers across the nation.
Chairman Peterson is co-chair of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who advocate for homegrown renewable fuel policies that boost farmer incomes and reduce dependence on foreign oil. He is also the sponsor of the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019, a bill which provides certainty to the biofuels industry by setting an annual deadline for small refinery exemption applications and bringing transparency to the process.
A copy of the letter can be found below:
Dear Mr. President,
As members of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, we write to express our concern with reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering an appeal of the unanimous 10th Circuit Court decision in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA. The 10th Circuit Court held that EPA exceeded its authority by inappropriately granting refiners free-standing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) that exempted them from blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), rather than granting extensions of existing exemptions as intended by Congress.
EPA’s rampant and inappropriate use of SRE’s in recent years has reduced demand for American biofuels and weakened the RFS. We ask that you direct EPA to respect the unanimous court decision by applying its ruling nationwide and end the agency’s destructive interpretation of the RFS. Farmers and biofuel producers are hurting as a result of decisions made by EPA and action by your office is needed to uphold the law in a fair and consistent manner.
Collin C. Peterson
Roger Marshall, M.D.