EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case

Monday, February 22, 2021 | David Pitt, Associated Press


This April 4, 2007 file photo, shows a gas pump in that delivers Ethanol fuel. The federal government announced Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump's administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump's administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. The lawsuit is headed to arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring.

Federal law requires refiners to blend billions of gallons of biofuels in the nation’s gasoline supply or buy credits from refineries that do the blending. Refineries can seek waivers if they can show that meeting the ethanol quotas would create a financial hardship for their companies.

The appeals court concluded the EPA improperly granted exemptions to refineries that didn’t qualify. The court said that refineries should be granted waivers only as extensions, but most refineries seeking exemptions had not continuously received them year after year. The decision effectively limited the EPA’s ability to grant most exemptions. Two refineries appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.

Trump, who polls show had overwhelming support among Midwestern farmers, had promised to back policies that helped agriculture, but his EPA approved sharp increases in the waivers, aiding oil refiners and reducing demand for corn-based ethanol.

Roughly 40% of U.S. corn is used to produce ethanol. The EPA under Trump issued 85 retroactive small refinery exemptions for the 2016-2018 compliance years, undercutting the renewable fuel volumes by a total of 4 billion gallons, (15.1 billion liters) according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

Roughly a month after President Joe Biden took office, his EPA reversed the federal government’s stand, saying the EPA agrees with the appeals court that the exemption was intended to operate as a temporary measure.

“The change reflects the agency’s considered assessment that the Tenth Circuit’s reasoning better reflects the statutory text and structure, as well as Congress’s intent in establishing the RFS program,” the EPA said in a statement.

Biofuels and farm advocates applauded the decision.

“This announcement marks a giant step forward by the new administration to restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and honor the statutory intent of the program,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper.

Iowa Republican politicians, who were loyal supporters of Trump but struggled to defend his administration's ethanol policy, also supported the Biden administration move.

“This is a step to provide much-needed certainty to ethanol and biodiesel producers,” Sen. Joni Ernst said.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called the decision an “encouraging sign" from the Biden administration.

American Petroleum Institute Vice President Ron Chittim said the group supports the EPA decision "as it follows the 10th Circuit court’s finding and is consistent with Congress’ intent when it enacted the Renewable Fuels Standard.”

The group, which represents a range of companies serving the oil and natural gas industry, advocates for equal treatment among refineries.

Featured Article: How to invest in a bear market



7 Stocks to Buy As Americans Receive Stimulus Checks

Millions of Americans will be receiving an additional $1,400 as part of the Biden stimulus plan after receiving $600 as part of the stimulus bill that President Trump back on December 27, 2020. Many already have.

For many Americans, there is a definite plan for how that money will be spent. And the usual suspects like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will likely continue to be busy. However, for other Americans, the money they receive will truly be like finding money. Both scenarios present different thoughts for investors.

You may agree with the payments. You may disagree with them. It really doesn’t matter, they’re coming and now as an investor, the question is how can you benefit from the new spending that will undoubtedly occur as a result of Americans receiving this stimulus?

We have some ideas and we’re sharing them with you in this special presentation. It’s comforting to remember that for many people receiving the stimulus checks will help ease the pressure from desperate circumstances.

View the "7 Stocks to Buy As Americans Receive Stimulus Checks".


MarketBeat - Stock Market News and Research Tools logo

MarketBeat empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing real-time financial data and objective market analysis. Whether you’re looking for analyst ratings, corporate buybacks, dividends, earnings, economic reports, financials, insider trades, IPOs, SEC filings or stock splits, MarketBeat has the objective information you need to analyze any stock. Learn more.

MarketBeat is accredited by the Better Business Bureau

© American Consumer News, LLC dba MarketBeat® 2010-2021. All rights reserved.
326 E 8th St #105, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | U.S. Based Support Team at [email protected] | (844) 978-6257
MarketBeat does not provide personalized financial advice and does not issue recommendations or offers to buy stock or sell any security. Learn more.

Our Accessibility Statement | Terms of Service | Do Not Sell My Information

© 2021 Market data provided is at least 10-minutes delayed and hosted by Barchart Solutions. Information is provided 'as-is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and is delayed. To see all exchange delays and terms of use please see disclaimer. Fundamental company data provided by Zacks Investment Research. As a bonus to opt-ing into our email newsletters, you will also get a free subscription to the Liberty Through Wealth e-newsletter. You can opt out at any time.