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Growth Energy moves to intervene in a biofuel standards lawsuit

Growth Energy argues that the challenge threatens the biofuel industry and undermines the Renewable Fuel Standard's goals.

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Growth Energy, the largest biofuel trade association in the United States, has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The case seeks to compel the EPA to lower the 2023 cellulosic biofuel blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a move the EPA has indicated is unwarranted.

Growth Energy's intervention aims to support the EPA’s stance and protect the biofuel industry's interests. The association argues that AFPM’s challenge threatens to disrupt the entire biofuel sector.

“For all of its high-minded rhetoric about protecting consumers, AFPM's petition is really just another attempt by the refining community to undermine the RFS and shirk its clear obligations to comply,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Contrary to their argument, the RFS was never designed to merely look back and reflect the existing market for biofuels—it was designed to look forward and expand that market, as the text of the relevant statutes and legislative history make plainly clear. AFPM’s challenge aims to kneecap the RFS by reducing it to a mere accounting function and undercut Congress' intent to spur growth and displace fossil fuels."

Skor emphasized the broader implications of AFPM’s lawsuit, stating, “Consumers, the environment, and the entire biofuels industry would be harmed if AFPM has its way. That's why Growth Energy is seeking to intervene. We look forward to working with EPA to support their original denial of AFPM's waiver request and ensure the RFS continues to work the way Congress intended.”

The RFS program, established by Congress, is designed to promote the use of renewable fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease reliance on imported oil. The program sets annual renewable volume obligations for various types of biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels, which are derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin.

Growth Energy's motion to intervene underscores the high stakes of the legal battle and the potential impact on the future of renewable fuels in the United States. The outcome of this case could have significant ramifications for the biofuel industry, consumers, and environmental policy.

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