September 14, 2020

Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – After significant pushback from American farmers and the biofuels industry, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it would reject 68 requests for retroactive small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The decision comes nearly nine months after a Tenth Circuit Court decision that struck down three exemptions that were not extensions of previously existing exemptions.

National Farmers Union (NFU), which was one of four petitioners in the Tenth Circuit Court case, has consistently voiced opposition to the abuse of SREs, most recently urging EPA and the Trump administration to reject these so-called “gap year” requests. In a statement, NFU President Rob Larew celebrated the decision and urged the administration to follow up by releasing the overdue Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2021.

“The fact that EPA has decided not to entertain the unreasonable whims of oil corporations is certainly welcome news for the family farmers and rural Americans whose livelihoods depend on a strong biofuels sector. However, this announcement should have been made many months ago, just after the Tenth Circuit Court Decision. By waiting so long to come to this obvious conclusion, EPA bruised an industry that’s already experiencing reduced demand due to deliberate efforts to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard and the coronavirus pandemic.

“While today’s decision will offer some much-needed security and relief for family farmers, they are still enduring a great deal of uncertainty and financial pressure. EPA should take additional steps to address these concerns, starting with releasing next year’s RVOS.”


To download an audio file of Rob Larew’s quotes, click here.

About NFUNational Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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