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IBB Disappointed with Supreme Court Ruling Favoring Small Oil Refiners

June 25, 2021

The United States Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling on small refinery exemptions in the case HollyFrontier v RFA, favoring small oil refiners over biofuels. In the opinion, the Court reversed one portion of a January 2020 US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decision on these exemptions to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. In response to the ruling, Iowa Biodiesel Board Executive Director Grant Kimberley issued the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed the Supreme Court did not uphold the 10th Circuit Court ruling in full. We believe today’s ruling opens the door for oil refiners to intentionally circumvent the RFS. 

“However, the Supreme Court did not consider nor overturn the economic harm arguments decided in the 10th Circuit, and the EPA is still bound by them. The only question is how many refiners can seek exemptions each year and at what point in the year—or ‘at any time’—they can be granted.  The EPA must consider only whether the Renewable Fuel Standard itself causes ‘disproportionate economic harm’ to a small refinery requesting exemption; and the EPA must consider its own evidence that refineries recoup the costs of RFS compliance. As green energy becomes a national priority, we are hopeful that the Biden EPA will keep its commitment to the RFS, fulfilling the promise that a green future depends on a stable and strong biofuels industry.”

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.  

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Jenna Higgins Rose

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