ABFA files for injunction against EPA to prevent additional SREs

By Advanced Biofuels Association | April 25, 2019

The Advanced Biofuels Association filed a motion April 24 for a preliminary injunction to prevent U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler from granting any additional small refinery exemptions (SREs) to release obligated parties from compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard until the resolution of its pending lawsuit against EPA.

“Since EPA began granting these additional exemptions behind closed doors, we have seen devastating market impacts and dropping prices for renewable identification numbers (RINs),” said Michael McAdams, president of ABFA. “We need to stop the bleeding and prevent EPA from granting any more of these exemptions until the D.C. Circuit Court has the opportunity to rule on the legality of the process being undertaken by the Agency.”

“Administrator Wheeler has indicated his intention to move forward on decisions for as many as 39 additional exemptions this year,” McAdams continued. “ABFA cannot stand by while EPA unilaterally and illegally undermines the integrity of the RFS program.”

“These new exemptions provide a financial windfall to refineries at the expense of biofuel producers and distributers. EPA is punishing the parties who have worked to increase the amount of renewable fuel blended into the United States transportation fuel supply as Congress intended by enacting the RFS first in 2005 and expanding it in 2007.”

“For the first time since the inception of the RFS, we are seeing reductions in U.S. renewable fuel blending, and EPA’s actions are to blame. Until the Court is able to rule on the merits of ABFA’s pending lawsuit, the Agency should be prevented from taking further action.”

ABFA’s lawsuit against EPA challenges its methodology for granting these exemptions, arguing the Agency more than doubled the number of exempted refineries by illegally changing its petition review process behind closed doors. ABFA filed the motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where its current lawsuit is pending with briefing on the merits scheduled to conclude on June 12, 2019.