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Judges Hear Oral Arguments On The Petition To Review RVO For 2014-2016

On April 24, 2017, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the renewable fuels and petroleum industries presented oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the petition to review the renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2014-2016.  The petition, which was filed on January 8, 2016, by seven biofuel and agricultural groups, challenged EPA’s authority to set volume requirements for biofuel blending below standards put forth in the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law.  During the oral arguments, Samara Spence, a DOJ attorney, argued that insufficient infrastructure prevented EPA from setting a higher advanced biofuel standard in the 2014-2016 final rule.  Seth Waxman, an attorney representing Americans for Clean Energy, argued that EPA misunderstood its authority under the statute.  According to statements from the federal appeals court judges, scaling back the blending requirements may be viewed as an abuse of EPA’s authority.

In a joint statement in response to the oral arguments, the American Coalition for Ethanol, BIO, Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, and the Renewable Fuels Association stated that they are “optimistic that the Court will honor Congress’ intent and remove these and other obstacles EPA has impermissibly erected to cleaner and more sustainable renewable fuels from entering the marketplace.” 

©2017 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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About this Author

Lauren Graham, Bergeson Campbell Law Firm, Consortia Manager
Ph D

Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D., Manager with B&C® Consortia Management (BCCM), guides and facilitates effective consortia performance in advocacy programs, public outreach, product stewardship, and testing and compliance.  Dr. Graham offers BCCM consortia clients the scientific acumen she gained in academia and industry, and the organizational, editorial, and promotional skills honed while with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), to assist consortia in reaching and exceeding their institutional goals.

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