WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Biodiesel Board expressed dismay at the Supreme Court’s majority ruling on small refinery exemptions in the case HollyFrontier v RFA. In a divided opinion, the Court reversed one portion of a January 2020 US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decision on these exemptions. The 10th Circuit decision still requires the Environmental Protection Agency to consider only whether the Renewable Fuel Standard itself causes “disproportionate economic harm” to a small refinery requesting exemption and to consider its own evidence that refineries recoup the costs of RFS compliance.
Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President for Federal Affairs, stated, “The Supreme Court decision is dismaying because it leaves uncertainty about when EPA may offer exemptions to small refineries. These exemptions harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers when they reduce demand for advanced biofuels. EPA has provided multiple ways for refiners to meet the Clean Air Act’s RFS requirements, including an outsized bank of reserve RIN credits. The agency must issue the 2021 RFS rules as soon as possible and ensure that RFS volumes it sets are met, with full accounting for any small refinery exemptions in plans to grant.”
The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13 percent of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans.