WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency today announced its support for a recent appeals court decision supporting biofuels producers. The move is a departure from the EPA’s previous position, and follows Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) long-running campaign to restore integrity in the implementation of the law setting minimum benchmarks for the use of biofuels.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad the EPA has finally come around to acknowledging that waivers it had been granting to Big Oil conflicted with the laws passed by Congress, as well as its own mission to promote a cleaner environment. Congress clearly designed hardship waivers to be used in limited, need-specific cases when it passed the Renewable Fuels Standard, and we made no bones about reaffirming this intent in the years since. The EPA has now reached the same conclusion, and I’m confident that the Supreme Court will as well,” Grassley said.

Grassley has long called on the EPA to follow the letter of the law when granting waivers to refineries that don’t blend the minimum required volume of biofuels into vehicle fuel. Earlier this month, Grassley led a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling on the EPA to review whether recent waivers complied court ruling in the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That ruling in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA found that the EPA’s broad use of waivers didn’t comport with the limitations set forth in the Renewable Fuels Standard passed by Congress. The Supreme Court is set to review that ruling later this year.