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Monroe Energy, LLC v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20100
Nos. 13-1265, (D.C. Cir., 05/06/2014)

The D.C. Circuit upheld EPA's renewable fuels standard (RFS) for 2013. Because EPA reduced the cellulosic ethanol blending requirement for 2013 but not the total renewable fuel volume, petroleum refiners filed suit arguing the rule should be vacated. The court disagreed. The CAA provides that if EPA reduces the cellulosic biofuel requirement, as it did here, then it may also reduce the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel quotas by the same or a lesser volume. But there is no requirement that the Agency do so, and here, EPA exercised its discretion in a reasonable manner. The Agency determined that although production of cellulosic biofuel would be much lower than the statutory volume, the resulting shortfall in the advanced biofuel category could be made up using other types of advanced biofuel, particularly biomass-based diesel and imported sugarcane ethanol. The court also rejected claims that the rule should be vacated because EPA issued the rule more than eight months after the statutory deadline had passed. To the contrary, EPA's decision to preserve the 2013 fuel standards while extending the compliance deadline to June 30, 2014, was reasonable.