Published On: Fri, Jun 25th, 2021

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Small Refineries in Biofuel Waiver Dispute

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The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of small oil refineries in a dispute over whether they are eligible for exemptions from a federal program requiring increased use of renewable fuels. In a 6–3 ruling (pdf) the high court overturned a lower court decision that had faulted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for giving refineries in Wyoming, Utah, and Oklahoma extensions on waivers from Renewable Fuel Standard requirements even though the companies’ prior exemptions had expired. Former President Donald Trump expanded waivers for U.S. refiners from the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend billions of gallons of ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel each year or buy credits from those that do. Refiners have said the policy threatens to bankrupt fuel makers who were hit by sinking demand during the pandemic. Renewable fuel groups said that the Trump-era increase in waivers had undercut the demand for …

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