Wheeler: EPA to announce response to court ruling on SREs soon

By Erin Voegele | March 04, 2020

U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said on March 4 that the agency will soon announce its response to a recent court ruling that struck down three small refinery exemptions (SREs) and expressed hope the announcement will quell recent renewable identification number (RIN) price spikes.

Wheeler made the comments during a hearing held by the House Committee on Appropriations to consider the EPA’s budget request for fiscal year 2021.

At the hearing, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, questioned Wheeler on recent price spikes in the RIN market. Stewart said high RIN prices are affecting refineries located in his district and asked Wheeler if the EPA plans to appeal the court’s decision.

“They’ve gone up in the last couple of weeks because of the Tenth Circuit Court decision on the small refinery exemptions,” Wheeler said, referencing the court’s Jan 24 ruling that struck down three SREs approved by the agency. “We are still working on that with our attorneys at EPA as well as attorneys at the Department of Justice,” he continued. “As decision has to be made by next week, so we will be announcing something shortly, and hopefully that announcement will help quell the RIN markets.”

Stewart also asked what other actions the agency could take to bring down RIN prices. In response, Wheeler said the agency is “looking at other avenues to provide some stability in the program and to try to make sure we don’t have wild fluctuations in the RIN market price.”

A video replay of the hearing is available on the House Committee on Appropriations website.