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HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC v. Renewable Fuels Ass'n

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20122
Nos. 20-472, (U.S., 06/25/2021)

The U.S. Supreme Court held, 6-3, that a small refinery that previously received a hardship exemption from renewable fuel requirements may obtain an "extension" even if it saw a lapse in exemption coverage in a previous year. A group of renewable fuel producers had petitioned for review of EPA's grant of hardship exemptions for three small refineries that had previously received exemptions and seen them lapse for a period before petitioning for exemptions again. The appellate court had vacated EPA's decisions, concluding the refineries were not eligible for an "extension" of their exemptions because they had allowed their previous exemptions to lapse at some point in the past. The high court found that it was "entirely natural—and consistent with ordinary usage—to seek an 'extension' of time even after some lapse," and that the text of the statute did not contain a continuity requirement because it allowed a small refinery to petition for an extension of an exemption "at any time." It therefore reversed the appellate court's vacatur of EPA's decisions. Gorsuch, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C.J., and Thomas, Breyer, Alito, and Kavanaugh, JJ., joined. Barrett, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Sotomayor and Kagan, JJ., joined.