Refineries lose bid for Appeals Court rehearing in Denver

Without comment, judges of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver have refused the challenge of an Oklahoma refinery company and the owner of two others whose exemptions from bio-fuel blending requirements had been invalidated by the court.

Wynnewood Refining Company and HollyFrontier, operator of two other refineries that had been involved in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association had challenged the Appeals Court first ruling and asked for a review by the entire court.

But in a decision announced this week, they were denied.

“This matter is before the court on the Petition for Rehearing or Rehearing en Banc filed by HollyFrontier Petition and the Petition for Rehearing En Banc filed by Wynnewood Petition. HollyFrontier’s request for panel rehearing is denied. Both HollyFrontier Petition and Wynnewood Petition requests for rehearing en banc are denied,” stated the decision revealed in court records.

The order was filed by Judges Paul Kelly, Jr. who is on senior status, Carlos F. Lucero and former Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe.

Their decision now means Wynnewood Refining Company LLC and HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining and its Woods Cross Refining can take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Wynnewood refinery is owned by billionaire Carl Icahn and was granted the waiver in 2018, allowing Icahn’s CVR Energy to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard program.

The exemptions led to the filing of a lawsuit by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and National Farmers Union (NFU), with support of Farmers Union Enterprises.

The groups complained that the exemptions were granted in secret  and “under unusually clandestine proceedings”to “profitable refining companies” that were saved a collective $170 million in compliance costs.


Source: Court documents