Growth Energy Files Motion to Intervene in AFPM’s Case against EPA on Cellulosic Biofuel

Growth Energy filed a motion to intervene in a case regarding cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2023.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Growth Energy, the nation’s largest biofuel trade association, filed a motion yesterday to intervene in a case brought by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The case aims to force EPA to lower the 2023 cellulosic biofuel blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), despite EPA showing that doing so is unwarranted. If successful, AFPM’s challenge would have disruptive effects on the entire biofuel industry, which is why Growth Energy is seeking to intervene on EPA’s behalf. 

“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. 

“Consumers, the environment, and the entire biofuels industry would be harmed if AFPM has its way,” she added. “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.” 

A full copy of Growth Energy’s motion can be found here. 


Cellulosic biofuels are biofuels made from pieces of plants and crops that usually end up as waste, like stems, leaves and other fibrous types of biomass. AFPM is arguing that EPA should lower its renewable volume obligation (RVO) for cellulosic biofuel for the 2023 program year because the RVO number ended up being higher than the total amount of cellulosic biofuel that was produced in the U.S. that year.  

AFPM applied for a partial waiver from EPA that would have allowed refiners not to comply with the 2023 RFS blending obligations for cellulosic biofuel that are currently on the books. After EPA denied AFPM’s request, AFPM filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where Growth Energy filed its motion yesterday.