Farmers and Ethanol Producers Challenge Court's Refinery Exemption Ruling

Nov 29, 2023

In a recent turn of events, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union, collectively representing the interests of farmers and ethanol producers, have openly expressed their disappointment following the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision. This ruling remanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rejection of six small refinery exemption requests. 

The coalition emphasized the importance of defending the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and highlighted the illegitimate use of small refinery exemptions. They argued that, contrary to the claims of economic hardship by small refineries, the RFS does not burden oil refiners as compliance costs are distributed along the supply chain. 

This dispute underscores the ongoing tension between the renewable fuels industry and the oil refineries over blending obligations. The coalition's statement clarified that the lawsuit was less about economic strain and more about certain refineries attempting to evade their legal duties to blend renewable fuels. 

The groups asserted their determination to fight for equitable RFS obligations for all refineries, regardless of their size or location, and to ensure that the costs associated with compliance do not unfairly impact any particular sector. They also stressed the importance of renewable fuels in providing cost-effective and lower-carbon options to consumers. 

The coalition's response to the court's decision highlights the broader challenges faced in the journey towards sustainable energy and the balancing act between various stakeholders in the energy sector. Their commitment to safeguarding the RFS indicates a continued push for renewable energy integration in the face of legal and regulatory hurdles. 

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