President and EPA to challenge court ruling on ethanol production

At the urging of Oklahoma U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford and a handful of other Republican Senators, President Trump now plans to appeal a recent Denver federal appeals court ruling that directly affected a refinery in southern Oklahoma.

President Trump has been persuade to appeal the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that invalidated three small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The ruling had a direct application to Wynnewood Refining Co., a subsidiary of CVR Energy.

The other two waivers cited in the lawsuit were granted to refineries in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Woods Cross, Utah, owned by HollyFrontier Corp., owner of a refinery in Tulsa. The exemptions have relieved Wynnewood Refining and Holly Frontier of a combined $170 million in compliance costs, according to company statements cited by the plaintiffs.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling in a lawsuit filed in 2018 by the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union.

Following the ruling, EPA had been expected to apply the ruling nationwide and drastically cut the number of exemptions it issued. House and Senate Republicanslast week had pressed the president not to do so, and the reversal would be a major blow to farming groups.

“Tearing open that wound, against the advice of rural champions and the president’s own advisors, would be viewed as a stunning betrayal of America’s rural workers and farmers,” said a joint statement from several groups including the National Corn Growers Association, the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy.