WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided not to appeal a ruling from the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In that ruling, the court found that the EPA had overstepped its authority in granting a handful of small refinery exemptions (SREs) and ordered the agency to reconsider the exemptions.

“This is the right decision by the EPA. Recently, I led a bipartisan group of my Senate colleagues in a letter urging the EPA not to appeal the 10th circuit’s decision, and I’m pleased to see the administration heed our advice. This is a victory for Nebraska’s economy, especially our farmers and ethanol producers who are struggling due to the economic downturn and low commodity prices,” said Senator Fischer.

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In late January, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down three small refinery exemptions that were deemed improperly issued by the EPA. The court ruling stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union. The court ruled that the RFS statute only allows agencies to grant extensions for continuously extended exemptions that have been in effect since 2011, which was not the case for these three exemptions.

In March, Senator Fischer led 16 of her Midwest colleagues in writing a letter to President Trump which encouraged EPA to not appeal the 10th Circuit Court decision. Read the full text of the letter here