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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 27, 2021

Top Story

Supreme Court Upholds Broad Eligibility For Small Refineries Seeking Hardship Exemptions From Compliance With The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards

By Gibson Dunn  •    •  Posted June 27, 2021

The EPA may grant extensions of the hardship exemption to small refineries that have not received prior extensions because the CAA permits small refineries to petition EPA “at any time.” “[T]he key phrase at issue before us … means exactly what it says: A small refinery can apply for … a hardship extension ‘at any time.’” [ read more … ]

U.S. Supreme Court backs refineries in biofuel waiver dispute

By Stephanie Kelly and Andrew Chung in New York, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 25, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday made it easier for small oil refineries to win exemptions from a federal law requiring increasing levels of ethanol and other renewable fuels to be blended into their products, a major setback for biofuel producers. The justices overturned a lower court decision that had faulted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for giving refineries in Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma extensions on waivers from renewable fuel standard (RFS) requirements under a law called the Clean Air Act even though the companies’ prior exemptions had expired.
[ read more … ]

Oil Refiners Win Easier Biofuel Waivers at Supreme Court

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 25, 2021

The EPA has wide latitude to exempt refineries from federal mandates that they mix renewable fuels into gasoline and diesel, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday, a victory for oil companies seeking a break from the requirements. In a 6-3 decision, the justices rejected arguments that the Environmental Protection Agency’s exemption power is limited to only a handful of refineries that have received uninterrupted annual waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that nothing in the Renewable Fuel Standard law itself “commands a continuity requirement.” [ read more … ]

Reactions: SCOTUS SRE Decision

House Biofuels Caucus Statement on Supreme Court’s Renewable Fuel Standard Decision and the Future Integrity of the RFS

By House Biofuels Caucus  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

We are concerned with the potential consequences of today’s Supreme Court’s decision, which could have a devastating impact on farmers and producers who are still fighting to recover from the volatile markets, unpredictable weather, and trade instability of the past several years. However, we are encouraged that the Environmental Protection Agency had reversed its position on small refinery exemptions prior to the Supreme Court’s final opinion, and we urge the Administration to apply the same logic in deciding not to grant future waivers. Today’s decision underscores the importance of the RFS Integrity Act; we will continue to fight for the enactment of this legislation to support family farmers and the clean biofuels industry. [ read more … ]

Biofuels Interests Look For Silver Lining in Supreme Court Ruling on Small-Refinery Exemptions Case

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

Trump’s EPA granted 88 such exemptions and 70 still are pending. Biofuels groups were obviously upset with the Supreme Court’s decision but pinned their hopes on the Biden EPA. The Biden EPA has the authority to grant as many or as few exemptions as it wishes. The RFS gives the agency broad authority. Part of the spin coming from biofuels interests is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s 2020 ruling set “guardrails” for how the EPA should consider exemption requests, providing some limits. We shall see. [ read more … ]

SCOTUS ruling favors oil interests over ethanol, Iowans criticize decision

By Perry Beeman, Iowa Capital Dispatch  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has added stress to an already agitated ethanol industry, overturning a 10th Circuit Court decision and voting 6-3 to allow broader biofuels waivers for oil refineries.
Dissenting judges said a waiver that never existed can’t be extended. The case revolved around whether small oil refineries can ask for a waiver if they haven’t qualified and possessed the waiver continuously. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Omits Big Climate Measures

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

A deal reached Thursday between President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators for $579 billion in new spending to repair the nation’s roads, rails and bridges does relatively little to fight climate change, an issue that the president has called an “existential threat.” The deal does provide funding for public transit, passenger and freight rail, electric buses and charging stations for electric vehicles, all designed to try to reduce pollution from passenger vehicles and trucks. And it includes $47 billion to help communities become more resilient to disasters and severe weather caused by a warming planet. Still, it contains few of the ambitious ideas that Mr. Biden initially proposed to cut the fossil fuel pollution that is driving climate change. [ read more … ]

Markets

Brazil’s Raízen to build second cellulosic ethanol plant – filing

By Ana Mano, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

Brazil’s energy company Raízen SA (CZLTA.UL) will build its second cellulosic ethanol plant in the country, with production capacity of 82 million liters per year, twice the capacity of its first plant, according to a securities filing on Friday. Raízen, the world’s only company to operate two cellulosic ethanol plants on a commercial scale, did not provide details on the amount to be invested in the facility. The move is aimed to cater to increasing global demand for cellulosic biofuels. [ read more … ]

EVs

Where We Are on the Road to Electric Vehicles

By Elisabeth Behrmann, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 26, 2021

Are we there yet? No, but we’re definitely on the road. After decades of doubt, the world’s automakers have made up their minds about electric vehicles. The car world was rocked in January by General Motors Co.’s pledge to stop selling gas-burning cars by 2035, and industrywide EV investment plans now top $230 billion. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.