Comment: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed RFS Small Refinery Exemption Decision

Prepared on behalf of Perkins Coie Law Firm LLPepa seal

Gregory B. Upton, Jr., Ph.D., LSU Center for Energy Studies
Cody Nehiba, Ph.D., LSU Center for Energy Studies

In December 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to deny more than 60 pending small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions from small refineries that were requesting an exemption from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The RFS is a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, blended into the fuel purchased by consumers. 

Associate Professor-Research Greg Upton and Assistant Professor-Research Cody Nehiba provided an opinion on two specific claims made by the EPA in its proposal. Their expert opinion was submitted to the EPA in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0566. 

Perkins Coie LLP, 20 small refineries with diverse geographic dispersion, and three anonymous academic reviewers were given the opportunity to review and provide feedback on this report. The analysis and opinions expressed, however, are those of the authors alone. 

View or download the report.