In Calumet Shreveport Refining LLC v. EPA, Case No. 22-60266 (5th Cir. Nov. 22, 2023), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denials of six small refineries’ petitions for hardship relief under the Clean Air Act Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, holding that EPA used an “impermissibly retroactive” standard to deny the refineries’ petitions in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. This ruling could serve as a basis for other refineries to challenge EPA’s retroactive denial of their hardship petitions — and provides support for similar petitions pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
On August 17, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the Court) vacated and remanded an order by the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana (the District Court) of a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the Biden administration (the Government) from pausing oil and gas lease sales. The Court found that the District Court’s decision lacked specificity.