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April 27, 2021

AG Miller comments on Supreme Court arguments in biofuels case

'Congress intended to advance renewable fuels'

DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court arguments in HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC v. Renewable Fuels Association. Miller filed an amicus brief March 31 supporting several renewable fuels and agricultural associations in their challenge to the EPA’s award of small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

"Today’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments were critical to Iowa’s renewable fuel industry and the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The arguments were very interesting, and the justices came prepared on a highly complex topic. We think we have the stronger argument: that Congress intended to advance renewable fuels, and not freely grant exemptions to small refineries. The plain, common sense meaning of the statute language prevails, in our opinion.

"The counsel for the biofuels producers cited our amicus brief in response to Justice Kavanaugh’s question on the economic impact of this ruling on the biofuels industry. As we noted, the small-refinery exemptions reduced the RFS mandate by an average of 7% each year from 2017 through 2019 — causing more than $2 billion in lost demand for renewable fuel nationally each year. We will find out in June how the justices come down on this important issue to Iowans."

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