Oil group API sues U.S. EPA over biofuels policy

Source: By Chris Prentice, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has sued the U.S. environmental regulator over its plan for biofuels use, the group said on Thursday, on the heels of a similar lawsuit from another oil association.

API is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to meet deadlines for the 2014 and 2017 biomass-based diesel standards and for mandating more cellulosic ethanol in 2016 than exists, a spokesman for the group said in a statement.

The group is seeking review by a U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., according to a document filed on Thursday.

The move follows a challenge filed by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) on Wednesday, which also said that EPA has failed to comply with legal requirements for setting the annual biofuels targets.

Both oil groups have filed to intervene on behalf of EPA in another lawsuit filed last month over the controversial policy, in which biofuels and agricultural groups have questioned the agency’s authority to set annual volumetric targets below those outlined in a 2007 law.

EPA is required by the Renewable Fuel Standard program to set targets annually for the volumes of renewable fuels fuel companies have to blend each year with gasoline and diesel. In November, EPA set targets for use for 2014-2016 that disappointed both biofuels and oil groups, following years of regulatory delay.

The agency did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

(Reporting by ; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)