API lawsuit on 2011 cellulosic RFS volumes dismissed by court

By Erin Voegele | December 19, 2012

On Dec. 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Petroleum Institute against the U.S. EPA. The petition was related to the cellulosic volume requirements of the renewable fuels standard (RFS) published in a final rule on Dec. 9, 2010 (the 2010 Rule). The rule set volume requirements for 2011. Court documents show lawsuit was filed against the U.S. EPA by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and Western States Petroleum Association in July.

According to court documents, the petition for review of the 2011 RFS was dismissed because it was filed with the court on July 24, 2012, beyond the 60-day period provided by regulation. In other words, it was filed too late.

On Nov. 15, 2012, the court granted the National Biodiesel Board, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, Advanced Biofuels Association, and Advanced Ethanol Council’s motions to intervene.

Court documents also demonstrate that the EPA filed in October 2012 to dismiss the challenge. In response the, American Petroleum Institute argued its petition for administrative reconsideration rendered the 2010 Rule non-final. However, the EPA pointed out that the U.S. law specifies that filing a petition for reconsideration “shall not affect the finality of such rule or action for purposes of judicial review nor extend the time within which a petition for judicial review of such rule or action may be filed.”

For more information on the lawsuit, please see “API challenges 2011 RFS cellulosic volumes again.”