SRE ruling not appealed by administration

By Ashley Rice

The deadline to seek a rehearing in the Tenth Circuit Court’s Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) ruling has come and passed with no action.

In January, the court found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority in granting SREs to three small refineries. On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit approved requests for an extension of the deadline to file motions asking for a rehearing. The new deadline for requesting a rehearing in the Tenth Circuit was March 24.

“Illinois farmers welcomed the Trump administration’s announcement that they would not appeal the recent ruling. We are glad to see the administration and EPA officials took our members’ concerns seriously when we visited during the annual March Leaders to Washington trip,” said Richard Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau president.

“Defending the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard is a 2020 key national priority of Illinois Farm Bureau. This issue has become even more important as we face COVID-19 and potential disruptions to ethanol plants here in Illinois,” Guebert added.

Plaintiffs in the case included the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union and American Coalition for Ethanol.

“With this key milestone now behind us, we look forward to EPA applying the Tenth Circuit decision nationwide to all SRE petitions, beginning with the 25 pending petitions for 2019 exemptions,” said the plaintiffs.

This includes restoring 500 million gallons of waived blending requirements in 2016, noted the plaintiffs, which was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District in 2017.

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