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Lawsuit filed to review “secretive” RFS waivers

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Several groups joined together to file a lawsuit in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday. The suit was brought by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers (NCGA), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and National Farmers Union (NFU). The suit asks the court to challenge waivers granted under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Audio: World of Agriculture 

The lawsuit claims the EPA granted, “secretive waivers to three profitable refiners under unusually clandestine proceedings.” The refiners involved are Wynnewood Refining Company in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and two Holly Frontier Corporation refineries in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Woods Cross, Utah. The petition says these three refineries have incurred an estimated $170 million in savings from RFS waivers.

Renewable Fuels Association President & CEO Bob Dinneen says “The EPA is trying to undermine the RFS program under the cover of night. EPA is methodically destroying the demand for renewable fuels.”

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says, “The success of the RFS lies in the requirement that certain amounts of renewable fuel be blended into our transportation sector. Yet EPA has unlawfully allowed massive refineries to skirt compliance with these requirements, effectively reducing the amount of renewable fuels blended into the transportation sector by more than one billion gallons. These actions must be reversed immediately.”

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes added, “The apparent lack of hardship raises serious questions of why EPA granted these exemptions, which is compounded by the fact that there is zero transparency in EPA’s small refinery exemption process”.

Congress and biofuels supporters have been calling for waiver transparency from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. There was hope legal action could be avoided, but it was an option they were not afraid to use.

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