Court declines to rehear case on refinery’s challenge RFS rule

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014

Federal appellate judges yesterday declined to take up a request from the National Biodiesel Board to reconsider whether an oil refinery was qualified to challenge last year’s U.S. EPA biofuel requirements.

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge to EPA’s 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards brought by Monroe Energy LLC, a Pennsylvania refinery owned by Delta Air Lines Inc. (Greenwire, May 6).

Despite agreeing with the outcome, the National Biodiesel Board asked the three-judge panel to reconsider a procedural aspect of the case: whether Monroe had shown it has “standing” — that it is directly injured by EPA’s policy.

The board said that rehearing was needed to preserve the integrity of the controversial program.

“We know what obligated parties challenge EPA’s annual standards every year. While almost all of those challenges have been rejected, they consume substantial public and private resources and create uncertainty and frustrate Congress’s goals,” the board said when it filed for rehearing. “In order to cut down on these increasingly wasteful challenges, NBB believes that the courts should be more vigilant about applying the rules that govern who can bring lawsuits” (E&ENews PM, June 23).

The court denied the request without explanation, as is customary for the D.C. Circuit.