Growth Energy Intervenes in Small-Refinery Waiver Case in 11th Circuit Court

Source: By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) – Growth Energy has filed a motion to intervene in one of several lawsuits filed against EPA after the agency rejected 26 of 28 pending small-refinery waiver petitions to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The EPA made the announcement on July 14, denying 22 total SRE requests from 2021 and 2022, one from 2023 and one each from 2016, 2017 and 2018. There are two SRE petitions still pending for 2018.

Earlier this month four refining companies petitioned various appeals courts.

The San Antonio Refinery, Calumet Shreveport Refining LLC, Hunt Refining Company and Calumet Montana Refining LLC filed petitions for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In addition, the San Antonio Refinery and Calumet Shreveport filed petitions in the Fifth Circuit, Hunt Refining in 11th Circuit and Calumet Montana in the Ninth Circuit.

Growth Energy filed a motion to intervene in the challenge filed by Hunt Refining in the 11th Circuit, in support of the EPA’s decision to reject the waiver requests.

“EPA made the right call by following the data which show there is no economic justification for exempting another oil company from its obligations under the RFS,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a statement.

“Growth Energy will not let these challenges go unanswered because we know how important the RFS is to our climate, our economy, and our energy security. Past abuse of SREs destroyed demand for billions of gallons of biofuels, undermining our ability to hold down prices at the pump with clean, American renewable fuel. It’s important that the courts and EPA continue to reject efforts to roll back the clock.”

Earlier in 2022, the Biden administration announced the rejection of all remaining small-refinery exemptions — about 100 in all — as part of a broader release of RFS volumes for 2020 to 2022.

As a result of that action, at least 20 appeals were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In April 2022, the agency reversed 31 small-refinery exemptions previously granted for 2018 but did not require the refiners to meet blending obligations.

“Granting Hunt’s exemption petition would relieve it of the obligation to use RINs (renewable identification numbers) to meet its 2022 requirements, freeing those RINs to be used to meet a future year’s requirements and thereby reducing the effective renewable-fuel demand of those future requirements and lifting a barrier to competition in that future year,” Growth Energy said in its motion to intervene.