Increased biofuel blending ahead for refineries


The EPA will require an extra 500 million gallons of biofuel blending over the next two years under the Renewable Fuel Standard in an effort to meet the requirements of a 2017 court order, according to published reports.

In 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that EPA had improperly used waivers to lower blending requirements for years 2014 through 2016, and it told the agency to require 500 million gallons in future rules to compensate biofuel producers.

The agency would add the extra gallons over two years, though the sources weren’t sure whether the extra gallons would be part of the annual blending requirements or come as part of supplemental rules.The move would be a boon for biofuel producers who have been struggling because of the drop in fuel demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Sept. 25 in a case that could determine whether EPA must deeply curtail its program of exemptions from the RFS.

The case mirrors a 10th Circuit case in which the court found that small refineries must have received exemptions continuously since 2013 in order to apply. But the 10th Circuit case only applied to a handful of western refineries, while a D.C. Circuit decision would have national implications.

One of those western refineries was the Wynnewood refinery which still has an opportunity to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arguments had been set for May, but they were delayed due to Covid-19.