D.C. Circuit panel wrestles with legality of RFS compliance extension

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Monday, January 23, 2023

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is wrestling with refiners’ push to revise EPA’s February 2022 extension of their renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance deadlines, but they gave few signs during Jan. 19 oral arguments whether they will uphold the agency’s action or revise it as refiners are seeking.

At argument in Wynnewood Refining Co., LLC, et al. v. EPA, Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan, Circuit Judge Nina Pillard and Senior Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph wrestled with competing interpretations of RFS mandates for setting deadlines under the Clean Air Act, advanced by refiners and EPA. Refiners claim EPA’s deadline extension, far from helping the sector, actually compresses multiple compliance deadlines into a short space of time, contributing to higher compliance costs and violating minimum lead-times that refiners say flow from the “structure” of the air law.