Supreme Court lets RFS stand

Nov 11, 2011
by WLJ

The Supreme Court denied a petition last week to review a challenge to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) filed by the petroleum industry.

The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), along with the American Petroleum Institute (API), submitted a petition in July for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

The request centered on whether a federal agency that misses a statutory deadline for writing regulations may engage in retroactive rulemaking based on implied, rather than express, authorization from Congress.

A spokesman for NPRA said the organization was disappointed with the decision.

But National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel says they are happy with the court decision.

“The RFS program is working just as Congress intended. It’s creating jobs across the country. It’s breaking our addiction to oil. It’s helping clean our air, and it’s reducing greenhouse gases,” said Steckel. “This year alone, the biodiesel industry is on pace to produce at least 800 million gallons of advanced biofuel while supporting more than 31,000 jobs.”

Ethanol industry group Growth Energy was also pleased with the decision, which mainly impacts biodiesel producers, as they had intervened in the court case to defend the mandated volumes and make sure that the volumetric levels were retroactive as of January 2010.

In papers defending the RFS, Growth Energy had intervened in the case filed by API and NPRA against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The RFS is critical if we are to ever reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and Growth Energy’s members fought vigorously against attempts by Big Oil to weaken the RFS. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision as the right decision,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

API and NPRA jointly filed against EPA last year. — WLJ