Senators ask trump to challenge Tenth Circuit Court on SREs

By Erin Voegele | March 02, 2020

A group of 13 senators that represent states with oil production and oil refining interests sent a letter to President Trump on Feb. 27 asking him to appeal a recent court ruling that will make it more difficult for refineries to qualify for a small refinery exemption (SRE) under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Jan. 24 struck down three SREs that were approved by the U.S. EPA. As part of the ruling, the court said that the EPA cannot extend exemptions to small refineries whose earlier, temporary exemptions had lapsed. The decision is expected to broadly impact the EPA’s approach to granting SREs.

In their letter, the senators claim that if the ruling stands it will jeopardize the financial viability of a dozen small refineries in the Tenth Circuit. If applied nationally, they claim the court’s decision will “jeopardize nearly all small refineries.”

The senators urge Trump to file a petition for rehearing en banc, and if necessary, seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The latter also asks Trump to oppose any efforts to apply the court’s ruling nationally.  

The letter is signed by Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; James Risch, R-Idaho; Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

A full copy of the letter is available on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works website.