RFA Insists Law Clear in Ethanol Waivers Case, But Unsure Why Supreme Court Reviewing

Source: By NAFB • Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NAFB) – The Renewable Fuels Association insists the law is clear in limiting EPA biofuel waivers to oil refiners, but in a possibly troubling sign, the RFA can’t understand why the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case this month.

RFA chief Geoff Cooper does not doubt that the law is clear that the Environmental Protection Agency can only grant refiner exemptions from using ethanol continuously, and only if they were given in the past.

Cooper says lower courts have affirmed the common definition understanding of “extend,” including the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned small refinery ‘gap year’ waivers. So, why is the Supreme Court hearing the case, if RFA, National Corn Growers, and other industry groups feel so confident the law is in their favor?

Cooper isn’t sure.

Raising concerns by some, including longtime ethanol backer and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, that interpretation of the statute is still an open question, one that could decide the fate of billions of gallons of past and future lost ethanol demand.