Monday, January 3, 2011

National Petrochemical & Refiners Association v. EPA

Dec 21: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 10-1070. The Appeals Court explains that in 2007, Congress enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act (the EISA), Pub. L. No. 110–140. It expanded the renewable fuel program under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109–58, which required that set volumes of renewable fuel be incorporated into gasoline sold in the United States each year. The EISA increased the volume requirements for renewable fuel and added new volume requirements for advanced biofuels, biomass-based diesel, and cellulosic biofuel.
    Congress thus sought "[t]o move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government." Pub. L. No. 110–140, 121 Stat. 1492 (2007). EPA posted notice of the final revisions to the regulations promulgated under the 2005 Act on its website on February 3, 2010 and published the revised regulations in the Federal Register on March 26, 2010. Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program, 75 Fed. Reg. 14,670 (Mar. 26, 2010) (Final Rule).
    Petitioners, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and the American Petroleum Institute, challenge the Final Rule on three grounds. They contend that it violates statutory requirements setting separate biomass-based diesel volume requirements for 2009 and 2010; it is impermissibly retroactive; and it violates statutory lead time and compliance provisions. The Appeals Court denied the petitions for review.
    Access the complete opinion (click here).