Gas Industry Sues EPA over Renewable Fuel Standard

Date: April 1, 2010

Source: News Room

Two major petroleum industry groups filed lawsuits in federal court to challenge EPA's recently issued renewable fuel standard (RFS) arguing it is unlawful because of its retroactive volume mandates for 2009 and 2010, before the rule was issued, and because the volumes are unattainable. EPA argues the rule is instead forward looking because it will not determine companies' compliance with the regulations until late February 2011. The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) filed separate suits March 29 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking review of EPA's final RFS signed Feb. 3 and published March 26 in the Federal Register. EPA, which was required under the 2007 Energy Independence & Security Act to promulgate rules to implement the RFS in 2008 and establish volumes of renewable fuels for 2009, missed both deadlines and issued its RFS proposal in May 2009 and its final rule including volume mandates in March. NPRA argues that the combination of the 2009 and 2010 volume mandates for biomass-based diesel is unfair because it results in a standard of 1.15 billion gallons when Congress intended for only a 1 billion gallon mandate in 2012. According to its summary, "EPA has no authority to 'recapture' volume mandates under different start-date scenarios." NPRA would like the court to remand the rule to EPA to "correct these errors."

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