Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Ethanol Industry

A Supreme Court ruling Friday left the biofuels industry disappointed. The Supreme Court overturned a 2020 appellate court ruling that struck down three small refinery exemptions granted by previous Environmental Protection Agency administrators. However, because certain elements of the appellate court ruling were left unchallenged and were not reviewed by the Supreme Court, the groups remain optimistic that the Biden administration will discontinue the past administration’s “flagrant abuse” of the refinery exemption program. A coalition, including the Renewable Fuels Association, National Farmers Union, National Corn Growers Association, and the American Coalition for Ethanol, responded, “we will not stop fighting for America’s farmers and renewable fuel producers.” The decision stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by the coalition. The petitioners argued that the small refinery exemptions were granted in direct contradiction to the statutory text and purpose of the RFS.

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