Ethanol groups request summary judgement in FOIA lawsuit on SREs

By Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association | October 28, 2020

Upon the U.S. EPA’s failure to adequately respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the biofuels industry regarding the small refinery exemption (SRE) program and EPA’s radical escalation in granting SREs in recent years, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association filed a motion this week for partial summary judgment in the federal District Court of the District of Columbia.

Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to order EPA to make public at least the most basic information pertaining to these exemptions. The following is a joint statement from Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy and Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association:

“For the last several years, biofuels interests have pleaded with EPA to lift the veil of secrecy that it has held over the issuance of small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. These clandestine agency actions have destabilized markets and allowed numerous refineries to avoid their RFS compliance obligations at the expense of renewable fuel producers and supporters, including America’s farmers.

“Fundamentally, this request is about fairness and transparency in government. If an agency decides to relieve a refinery from the obligations Congress imposed under the Clean Air Act or any federal law, it should be done in the public view.”

The organizations have asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to order the following:

    •EPA should not withhold the name of the company submitting an application for an SRE nor the name and location of the refinery for which relief is requested

    •EPA should immediately produce the information that was unlawfully withheld for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance years 2015, 2016, and 2017

    •EPA should not withhold any of the five data elements identified in the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule