facebook linkedin twitter

Corn Growers, Others Seek Rehearing on Fuel Blend Standard

August 20, 2021 by Dan McCue
A corn field in Iowa. (Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — The National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision to disallow year-round sales of a 15% ethanol fuel blend.

In a petition filed with the court on Thursday, the plaintiffs asked the full court to rehear the case, claiming the three-judge panel that handed down the court’s original decision on July 2 made significant legal errors.

“If allowed to stand, this court’s decision to vacate EPA’s rulemaking to allow E15 to be sold year-round will have devastating consequences for the market expansion of homegrown biofuels,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement.

“Petitioning for a rehearing is a critical next step in giving biofuel producers and farmers a fair shot in the marketplace and providing American drivers with better access to cleaner fuel choices. We are hopeful that the full court takes up the petition and reverses the panel’s decision,” they said.

The underlying lawsuit stems from a June 2019 decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to extend a mechanism called the Reid Vapor Pressure volatility waiver to E15 fuel.

The measure of vapor pressure relates to the speed at which liquid fuel evaporates.

Since the late 1980s, the EPA has regulated the “vapor pressure” of gasoline sold at retail stations during the summer ozone season — running roughly from June 1 to Sept. 15 — to reduce evaporative emissions that are harmful to the ozone.

In June 2019, the Trump Administration’s EPA revised its interpretation of a provision of the Clean Air Act that grants a 1.0 psi summertime waiver of Reid vapor pressure requirements. 

In doing so, it found that E15 is substantially similar to E10 certification fuel, making biofuel blends like E15 available to motorists year-round.  

The plaintiffs claim oil refiners challenged the rulemaking in the D.C. Circuit to undermine the expansion of biofuels in our nation’s fuel supply.

On July 2, in a ruling that was widely applauded by the oil and gas industry, the D.C. Circuit upheld the 2019 rule, the unanimous three-judge panel holding the phrase “contains 10%” in the relevant statutory text did not extend the 1.0 psi RVP waiver from E10 to E15.

“We are glad the court unanimously found that EPA lacks the authority to grant an RVP waiver to fuel containing more than 10% ethanol, consistent with how EPA interpreted its authority for nearly 30 years prior,” said Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

The group is a party to the original lawsuit.

“There is no ambiguity in the statute and the previous administration’s reinterpretation overstepped the will of Congress,” he said.

On Friday, an AFPM spokesperson told The Well News, “EPA doesn’t have any different authority today than it did last month when the court ruled unanimously that the agency overstepped its bounds, and decades of precedent, by applying a Clean Air Act waiver to E15 We’re confident another review of this matter will yield the same result.”

Paul G. Afonso, senior vice president and chief legal officer of the American Petroleum Institute, also commented Friday, saying, “We appreciate the court’s recognition that EPA was clearly outside of its current statutory authority by extending the RVP waiver to E15 fuel.”

The case is American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA.

Energy

September 16, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp
Hickenlooper Pitches New FERC Authority To Help Biden’s Clean Energy Plan

WASHINGTON- The economic impact of the switch to clean energy may have the chance to make the transition a truly... Read More

WASHINGTON- The economic impact of the switch to clean energy may have the chance to make the transition a truly bipartisan issue, according to Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo. During an event Tuesday hosted by the Public Policy Institute on expanding power line capacity to enable renewable... Read More

September 15, 2021
by TWN
Biden Touts Job Creation, Climate at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

GOLDEN, Colo. -- “Yes, we face a crisis, but we face a crisis with an unprecedented opportunity to create good... Read More

GOLDEN, Colo. -- “Yes, we face a crisis, but we face a crisis with an unprecedented opportunity to create good jobs of the future, to create industries of the future, to win the future, to save the planet.” That was the message President Joe Biden delivered... Read More

September 14, 2021
by TWN Staff
Coalition Formed to Support Affordable Energy Policy Solutions for Lower-Income Households

More than 350 environmental justice advocates, environmental groups and renewable energy companies announced the formation of Residential Renewables for All... Read More

More than 350 environmental justice advocates, environmental groups and renewable energy companies announced the formation of Residential Renewables for All Tuesday. The group is focused on expanding access to the economic, health, and emissions benefits of clean energy to disadvantaged and lower-income households. Founding members of... Read More

Biden Turns to Colorado to Pitch Investments in Clean Energy

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — While legislators craft the details back in Washington, President Joe Biden is pitching his massive... Read More

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — While legislators craft the details back in Washington, President Joe Biden is pitching his massive domestic spending package with a visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado to highlight how the investments in clean energy in his plan would help... Read More

September 8, 2021
by TWN Staff
Solar Energy Has Potential to Power 40% of Nation's Electricity by 2035

The U.S. Department of Energy has released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing... Read More

The U.S. Department of Energy has released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing the nation’s power grid. The study shows that by 2035, solar energy has the potential to power 40% of the nation’s electricity, drive deep decarbonization of... Read More

September 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Solar Energy Project to Power 25,000 Homes in Colorado

DENVER, Colo. -- Invenergy, a privately held developer of sustainable energy solutions, has begun work on a 127 megawatt project... Read More

DENVER, Colo. -- Invenergy, a privately held developer of sustainable energy solutions, has begun work on a 127 megawatt project in Colorado that will generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes while paying about $250,000 annually in local property taxes. Dubbed the Boutique Solar project, the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top