Category: SREs

Small Refineries and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day(s): EPA Denies 26 Small Refinery Exemptions; D.C. Circuit Court Dismisses Cases Challenging EPA’s Compliance Schedule

August 8, 2023

I think there needs to be a book like “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but for adults. Maybe, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Adulting,” complete with an accurate description of the 40-hour work week, taxes, and what paying student loans feels like. Given recent events, small refineries might be able to relate to either book. Within the past month, EPA has made a couple of decisions that have gained a fair amount of attention. First, EPA denied 26 Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) petitions between the years 2016-2018 and 2021-2023. Second, the... Read More →

As Disappointing as a Millennial: EPA’s Denials of SREs Stayed by 5th Circuit Decision

February 1, 2023

Being the resident millennial has its challenges and disappointments. For example, no one, not even one person, has offered me a participation trophy just for showing up to work. My parents say that’s what a salary is, but that’s not the same thing. Given recent events, perhaps no one understands being challenged and disappointed quite like EPA. To be more specific, recently, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a few of EPA’s denials of Small Refiner Exemptions (SREs) are stayed. The facts of the case are fairly straight forward. Calumet Shreveport Refining LLC (“Calumet”) and the San Antonio... 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 →

I Take It Back! EPA Files to Reconsider 2019 SREs

September 8, 2021

Have you ever made a decision and then were like, uh, actually, wait, I didn’t mean that? I do this all the time. Some people call it being indecisive, I call it my prerogative, but we can agree to disagree right? In that spirit, U.S. EPA has recently filed a Motion to Remand without Vacatur with the D.C. Circuit Court to voluntarily reevaluate 31 Small Refiner Exemptions (SREs) that were granted in previous compliance years. For those of you who don’t know what an SRE is or how it applies to the industry, I have an article for you to read before... Read More →

Much Ado About Something: Why Everyone is Yelling About SRE’s

September 16, 2020

There are some things that people do, and we just fail to understand why. Putting pineapple on pizza or thinking pickles with peanut butter is a good idea, for instance. Sometimes, granting an entity a Small Refiner Exemption (SRE) can be a lot like that. It’s a little weird and a bit strange. In this month’s article, I am going to talk, somewhat briefly, about the “why” portion of SRE’s and, more importantly, what’s all the yelling about? As I’ve discussed in a previous article, to receive a small refiner exemption, you had to be a small refiner and you... Read More →

Becoming the Outcast: The “What” Portion of the Small Refiner Exemption

August 19, 2020

What do car wrecks, hangnails, and Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) have in common? Nobody likes them. Well, ok, if you’re a participant in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and not a small refinery, you might not like SREs very much. But why, though? If you’re new to the RFS and you don’t have a good grasp of the industry, you might find all the hulabaloo a bit much. There is a lot that could be said about SREs, but for the moment, let’s discuss what they are first. There are two pieces to SRE’s. For the first piece, to even... Read More →