An Entertaining 101 on Issues Impacting the Renewable Fuel Standard

It’s Electric! EPA Proposes eRIN Regulations in 2023-2025 Set Rule

January 9, 2023

Charging the conversation around the 2023-2025 Set rule is EPA’s proposal on the development and implementation of the eRIN program. While not new, this proposal is really the first time EPA has addressed the eRIN program since 2014 and it’s outlining a new approach within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including the makeup of participants. As early as 2010, EPA determined that renewable electricity would meet the definition of renewable fuel and therefore, be eligible to generate RINs, so long as the renewable electricity is made from renewable biomass and is used as a transportation fuel[1]. However, until now, EPA... Read More →

The 12 Rules of Christmas: EPA Publishes Proposed 2023-2025 Set Rule

December 14, 2022

“On the first day of Christmas EPA proposed to me…a 692-page rule” Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? If you’ve been paying attention to the transportation fuels industry, you know that EPA just released the “Set” rule for 2023 and beyond. This was a monstrous release, boasting 692 pages of pure regulatory and scientific language. It was a real page-turner. The release is significant because 2023 is the first year the statute did not set mandatory targets for the transportation fuels industry. This means, under statute, EPA is now permitted to promulgate all future Renewable Volume... Read More →

Being Thankful for Loopholes: Suncor v. EPA

November 9, 2022

The problem with Thanksgiving, is that it stands in the way of Christmas. However, in the spirit of the month, I can give a few things that I am thankful for: sweet potato pie, family, and the continual growth of streaming services. I know of another entity that might be a little thankful this month: Suncor Energy. Recently, the 10th Circuit vacated EPA’s decision to deny Suncor a Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) and remanded (returned) it back to EPA for further analysis. Very briefly, the facts are Suncor purchased two adjacent refineries from two distinct companies. While they are under the... Read More →

Hocus Pocus: RVO Litigation, 2023 Set, and Other Rumors

October 12, 2022

It’s that time of year when the leaves are falling, the air is getting chillier, and rumors about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are mounting their broomsticks and flying through the air. With the deadline of the 2023 (and possibly beyond) RFS Set and recent legal proceedings associated with the release of 2021 and 2022 final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), rumors are flying faster than Starbuck’s released its famed pumpkin spice latte. While there is a lot going on in the industry, I’ll be funny…so you’ll at least giggle while you read this… Let’s talk about the litigation and legal... Read More →

Falling Into Place: How EPA Promulgates Regulatory Rules

September 14, 2022

Like every basic girl, I absolutely love fall! The pumpkin spice, the leaves changing color, the fuzzy socks, the scented candles, literally all the things. While we think about the autumn leaves and apple pies (mmm pie), let’s talk about what EPA has to do for a rule to “fall” into place. Throughout this blog, I’ve talked a lot about court cases, industry reaction to a specific EPA-made rule, and other similar things. However, I haven’t really explained everything that goes into how EPA makes rules in the first place. In order to understand everything that goes on, both behind... Read More →

Group Projects and Accountability: Growth Energy Reaches Settlement with EPA For 2023 Set Deadline

August 10, 2022

Group projects are the worst…or maybe that’s just my sentiments? Oh, come on, we both know you read the words “group project” and groaned! After its recent lawsuit and subsequent settlement with Growth Energy, I think EPA may know exactly how I (we) feel. Recently, Growth Energy and EPA reached a settlement that requires EPA to publish proposed target volumes for the 2023 Set by November 16, 2022, and have to be finalized no later than June 14, 2023. While the court is expected to approve the terms of the settlement, a consent decree has not yet been issued by... Read More →

Aaaddrriiaann!!: Growth Energy Files Suit Against EPA For Alternative Compliance Approach

July 13, 2022

One classic that my parents instilled in my millennial self was the cinematic masterpiece Rocky. But somehow, screaming “Adrian” before getting into a fight with my brother never won me any points with my parents. #horsehockey. Where am I going with this? Recently, Growth Energy filed a lawsuit against EPA that, well, goes the distance. You might remember in April of this year, EPA denied 36 small refinery exemptions from the 2018 compliance year, 31 of which had already been granted. When EPA denied those exemptions, it afforded these small refineries an “alternative compliance approach.” Essentially, due to the fact... Read More →

Stranger Things Season Premier and Other Spoilers: EPA Releases Final RVOs for 2020, 2021, and 2022

June 8, 2022

With all the hype of Season 4 of Stranger Things, it’s truly a miracle that I get anything done. Admittedly, I wasn’t all about it when it was originally released (pretty sure I was still in the black hole of law school), but I’m a little addicted now. Between defeating the Demogorgon and Dustin’s dimples, the show is pretty easy to love. Speaking of demogorgons, EPA recently released the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2020, 2021, and 2022, and other, well, stranger things. Part of the reason the final release of the RVOs was important was that EPA was... Read More →

Fueling the Discussion: EPA Issues Emergency E15 RVP Waiver

May 11, 2022

My dad, being the king of dad jokes that he is, recently told me that he needed to take out a loan application…so that he could put gas in his car… While he was quite pleased with the joke, his take on the price of a gallon of fuel these days is felt by many commuters at the pump. Like the typical daughter, I roll my eyes at his jokes, but the fuel supply issues these days are nothing to roll your eyes at. EPA, called on by the Biden Administration, has felt these constraints and has recently allowed an... Read More →

I’m Shook! EPA Denies 36 Small Refinery Exemptions for the Compliance Year 2018

April 13, 2022

It seems like I’ve written a lot of articles on Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs). In my defense, there’s been a lot of material there. For example, last week EPA denied 36 petitions for SREs the 2018 compliance year. For a quick refresher, an SRE is a little bit of a “safe harbor” provision within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) regulations that excuses or waives the compliance obligations for a small refinery so long as certain criteria are met. First, the petitioning refinery (the refinery asking for the petition) must qualify as small under the regulations. Second, the refinery must have... Read More →