• Ron Kotrba

US Supreme Court grants review of lower court ruling restricting SREs

Updated: Jan 11

The U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s Jan. 24, 2020, decision in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA, which set limits on the agency’s authority to grant small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The January 2020 ruling was lauded as a victory for the biofuels industries after facing increasing demand destruction for their products from a spike in SRE approvals by the U.S. EPA over the past few years.

The EPA opposed a Supreme Court review of the lower court’s ruling. As such, the case was renamed from Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA to HollyFrontier Cheyenne et al. v. Renewable Fuels Association et al. HollyFrontier Cheyenne was an intervenor in the original case and filed a writ of certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling.

“We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to review the case but will continue to vigorously pursue a resolution to the damage that small refinery exemptions do to the biodiesel industry,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “Refiners are challenging the Tenth Circuit’s findings on a single issue. EPA must still explain how the RFS itself is a hardship to refiners and why it arbitrarily failed to consider its own evidence that refineries recoup the costs of RINs.”

The Supreme Court’s review is expected to take months.

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