By Jennifer A. Dlouhy
The Trump administration is asking a federal court for 15 additional days to consider a possible appeal in a case threatening its ability to widely exempt oil refineries from biofuel-blending requirements.
In a filing late Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the Justice Department said more time is needed because the Jan. 24 ruling conflicts with the Environmental Protection Agency’s practice of issuing waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard program.
The court’s ruling could “have significant practical impacts on the RFS program going forward,” the department said in the filing.
As of Friday, the Trump administration had planned to seek a hearing on the matter before all the judges on the Denver-based appeals court.
Biofuel advocates furious with the decision now have more time to lobby the White House to shift course. On Friday, Trump’s decision to defend his power to broadly exempt oil refineries triggered a backlash in Iowa and other states that are top producers of ethanol and the corn used to make it.