Americans for Clean Energy, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
864 F.3d 691 (2017)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (defendant) promulgated a final rule setting renewable-fuel requirements for 2014 through 2017 as directed by Congress under the Clean Air Act’s Renewable Fuel Program (the program). Congress intended that the program overcome market constraints by creating demand pressure to increase renewable-fuel consumption through a market-forcing policy. The EPA reduced the total renewable-fuel volume requirements for those years under the inadequate-domestic-supply waiver provision of the statute. The EPA determined that the phrase inadequate domestic supply was ambiguous, so it interpreted the phrase to align with the overall policy goals of the program. The EPA concluded that the supply referred to in the waiver provision is the supply of renewable fuel available to consumers, not the supply available to refiners, blenders, and importers. The EPA also concluded that it could consider supply-side constraints and demand-side factors affecting the desire or ability of consumers to use renewable fuels. Various organizations such as companies and interest groups filed petitions challenging the EPA’s final rule. The court of appeals rejected all petitions except for the petition of Americans for Clean Energy (plaintiff) and other aligned petitioners.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kavanaugh, J.)
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