Fleet Management

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Biodiesel Standard Case

November 07, 2011

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a request from the oil and chemical industry to strike down the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In refusing to hear the case, the Court has Affirmed EPA's renewable fuels standard.


The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, along with the American Petroleum Institute submitted a petition in July for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. The request centered on whether a federal agency that misses a statutory deadline for writing regulations may engage in retroactive rulemaking based on implied, rather than express, authorization from Congress, according to a court filing.

A spokesman for the NPRA said the organization was disappointed with the decision.

NPRA's and API's original petition challenging the RFS2 regulations was rejected on December 21, 2010, in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit).

On February 3, 2011, NPRA and API filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit requesting an En Banc Rehearing -- a request for all the judges that comprise the D.C. Circuit to review a matter previously decided by a three-judge panel of the Court. The Court rejected that request in April.

NPRA and API filed their current petition for a writ of certiorari (a request to review) with the Supreme Court on July 22, 2011.

The National Biodiesel Board, a supporter of the Renewable Fuel Standard, said it was pleased that the Supreme Court put an end to the litigation.

"The RFS program is working just as Congress intended. It's creating jobs across the country. It's breaking our addiction to oil. It's helping clean our air, and it's reducing greenhouse gases," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. "This year alone, the biodiesel industry is on pace to produce at least 800 million gallons of advanced biofuel while supporting more than 31,000 jobs. We're pleased to see the Supreme Court put an end to this litigation as we continue building a strong U.S. biodiesel industry."

Biodiesel is currently produced in nearly every state in the country and can be used in existing diesel engines and meets strict specifications of ASTM D6751.

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