Rebuffed in court, ethanol makers look to EPA to limit RFS exemptions

The ethanol industry is optimistic the Biden administration will issue far fewer exemptions from the ethanol mandate than the Trump administration did despite a Supreme Court setback. Justices overturned, 6-3, an appellate court ruling that greatly restricted the eligibility of small refineries for "hardship" waivers from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Appeals court vacates three last-minute RFS waivers

The federal appeals court that greatly restricted access to "hardship" exemptions from the U.S. ethanol mandate in 2020 granted an EPA request on Wednesday to cancel three exemptions issued on President Trump's final day in office.

EPA wants to retract three last-minute RFS waivers

In a legal motion filed in Denver, the EPA asked a federal appeals court to vacate RFS exemptions granted to three small refineries during President Trump’s last day in office. The EPA, now directed by Biden appointees, said the outgoing Trump officials “did not analyze determinative legal …

EPA agrees RFS exemptions should be tightly limited

In a reversal from the Trump era, the EPA said on Monday that it supports an appellate court ruling that greatly reduces the availability to small refineries of exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The agency is not acting on requests for RFS waivers while the appellate ruling is under …

February deadline proposed for RFS ‘hardship’ waiver

In a Federal Register notice, the EPA said it would decide by Feb. 19 under a proposed consent order whether to approve a 2019 request by a small Pennsylvania oil refiner for an exemption from the ethanol mandate. The pro-ethanol trade group Growth Energy called for the EPA to resolve all 66 …

Corn export boom to China likely to soften by fall 2021

China is buying huge amounts of U.S. corn as it rebuilds its hog herd and recovers from the pandemic but its appetite for imports could weaken by next fall, when U.S. farmers are expected to harvest their second-largest crop ever, said University of Illinois economists on Tuesday. Chinese imports of 13 million tonnes this year could taper to a still-large 10.5 million tonnes during the sales year that begins on Sept 1.

EPA late in setting ethanol mandate for 2021

Despite entreaties from ethanol makers and farm groups, the EPA missed the statutory deadline on Monday to finalize the Renewable Fuel Standard, which assures a share of the gasoline market for biofuels such as corn ethanol, for 2021. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler has pointed to the steep …

In new fuel clash, oil refiners ask for 52 retroactive ethanol exemptions

Oil refiners are attempting to evade an adverse appellate court ruling by asking the EPA for retroactive exemptions from the ethanol mandate, said biofuel trade groups on Thursday. Refiners have filed 52 petitions for exemptions stretching as far back as 2011, potentially creating a chain of annual waivers that would allow them to seek exemptions now.

When it comes to RFS petitions, Wheeler makes no promises

Senators with opposite views of the ethanol mandate verbally leaned on EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday, with one asking for relief from the requirement to mix the biofuel into gasoline and the other calling for him to unflinchingly enforce it. Wheeler said he has not reached a decision on petitions to waive the RFS during the coronavirus pandemic. (No paywall)