Another court win for producers this week on WOTUS, while farmers and ethanol producers anxiously await an EPA decision on summertime E-15 sales. Two dozen states and more than a dozen groups, including the American Farm Bureau, are cheering a second U.S. District Court ruling to pause the Biden EPA’s Waters of the US Rule.
Courtney Briggs is the senior director of government affairs with the American Farm Bureau; “It just reinforces the notion that we’ve been saying for many months now, which is that this rule is vague, it is uncertain, and it is a burden to the regulated community. And now we’ve had two courts support that position. We have also had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate to repeal the Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule. Unfortunately, President Biden vetoed that.”
The ruling out of North Dakota follows a Texas federal court ruling that halted the Biden WOTUS rule in Texas and Idaho. AFB President Zippy Duvall charges the December rule leaves “no clear way to determine where federal (wetlands) jurisdiction begins and ends on their property,” calling the rule “fuzzy and subjective.”
Separately, corn growers and ethanol producers anxiously wait to see if EPA will grant a summertime waiver for E15 sales. Renewable Fuels Association head Geoff Cooper is optimistic.
Cooper; “All the headlines you see from this administration. It’s all about electric vehicles, but I will tell you, the Biden Administration and this EPA, in particular, have been quietly supportive of what we’re doing with renewable fuels and ethanol, specifically. They’ve been strong on the Renewable Fuel Standard. They’ve been strong on E15. We do expect this administration to issue emergency waivers allowing E15 sales throughout the summer like they did last year.”
That’s despite EPA’s latest proposal to further tighten auto emissions standards, forcing two-thirds of light-duty vehicles to be electric by 2032.